Abbey Rangers FC

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Deaf Football

Woking FC and Abbey Rangers FC pledge to be deaf friendly Two Surrey clubs officially became Deaf Friendly Football Clubs at a presentation during the Woking FC versus Cambridge United match last night. Woking FC, and Abbey Rangers FC, a local grassroots Community Standard Charter Standard club, have shown their commitment to opening up the sport to deaf people by signing the Deaf Friendly Football Club pledge, as part of a National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) project.

The clubs were presented with their Pledges by two young deaf footballers, Camilla and Jacob Willis, who play for nearby Fulham Deaf FC. The pledge has been developed to ensure that FA Charter Standard Football Clubs are deaf friendly and are committed to creating equal playing and coaching opportunities for deaf people. It is part of the Deaf Friendly Football Club project, a ground-breaking NDCS project designed to make football more accessible to all deaf children.

Hayley Jarvis, NDCS Sports and Leisure Activities Manager explains:
“We know there has been a severe lack of football opportunities available from grassroots to elite level for deaf children and young people in the UK in the past. Deafness makes it harder for children to communicate which can be very isolating. Many deaf children and young people find it difficult to participate in football because clubs are not set up to provide good communication.

The Deaf Friendly Football Club Project is revolutionising the sport at all levels for deaf children and young people. Every football club that shows its commitment to deaf children by agreeing to sign the pledge will meet with NDCS’ dedicated Football Development Officer and receive expert knowledge and resources to aid the club in being truly deaf friendly. We are delighted that Woking FC and Abbey Rangers FC have signed the pledge, and committed to giving deaf people an equal opportunity to play football.”

Graham Keable says: “As a FA Community Charter Standard club it was important for us to be inclusive and welcome all to the club, and the club is also proud and delighted to be involved with this initiative. We are looking forward to supporting deaf players with the support of the NDCS. We are also working in partnership with Woking FC to develop disability football in our area and will be aiming to set up training sessions next season.”

Oliver Selfe Senior Football Development Officer at Surrey County Football Association added: “It has been a pleasure working with both Woking FC and Abbey Rangers FC and I am delighted that they have achieved the Deaf Friendly Football Club status. This achievement contributes significantly to the FA vision and the Surrey County FA four year plan by offering football opportunities for all. We look forward to continuing to support both clubs in developing their inclusion programmes.”

Dear all Deaf-Friendly Football Clubs

The NDCS would like to say a massive THANK YOU to you for being involved in the Deaf-Friendly Football Club project over the past 5 years. The Deaf-Friendly Football Club project aimed to support, develop and grow opportunities for deaf children and young people to participate in football. As one of the 125 clubs that have committed to being deaf-friendly and welcoming deaf children & young people into their clubs you have made this possible!

The project is now no longer funded by the Football Foundation, therefore the project will come within the NDCS ‘Me2 Sports, Arts & Leisure’ Project. As Deaf-Friendly Football Clubs, you will now be automatically transferred to be a Me2 Deaf-Friendly Sports Club. We are still here to support you!

As part of our celebration of the success of the Deaf-Friendly Football Club project we have created a short film. The film can now be viewed online at Deaf-Friendly Football Club project – A Celebration!.

Please take a look and see what you as a Deaf-Friendly Football Club have contributed to. Again, thank you all for being involved in the Deaf-Friendly Football Club project.

Please feel free to send the film to any of your coaches, officials, players or their families. If any of you wish to add the link to your club website please feel free to!

Kind Regards

Tom

THOMAS LYONS
Sports & Leisure Development Officer (formerly Football Development Officer)
The National Deaf Children's Society
15 Dufferin Street, London EC1Y 8UR

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Resources that will be provided to clubs that sign the Pledge include the opportunity to take part in NDCS’ unique Coaching Deaf Footballers course, developed with support from the Football Association, a British Sign Language for Football course, a coaching DVD, practical support and assistance from NDCS volunteers, and help in promoting any deaf friendly football activities. Thirty-five football clubs have already signed the DFFC pledge and are now working with NDCS, including Arsenal, and Manchester United.