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Deaf Friendly Football

Manchester United has become one of England’s first ‘deaf -friendly’ football clubs by backing a special campaign launched by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS).

| by Rachael Pilsbury

Sir Alex Signs the Club up to National ‘Deaf-Friendly’ Campaign

Sir Alex Ferguson took time out to sign up to the NDC S’s groundbreaking Deaf Friendly Football Club Pledge which aims to make football more accessible to all deaf children. The pledge has been developed to ensure that clubs are committed to creating equal playing and coaching opportunities for deaf people.

The Foundation already works to promote deaf-friendly football, providing ongoing opportunities for hearing impaired players.  Adam Temple, the disability football development officer for the Foundation, believes this link-up will prove to be a great success.  He said: “We are looking forward to developing our playing and coaching opportunities for deaf people in our community and ensuring we help them reach their full potential in the sport.”

The Club will now be provided with a number of resources designed to help achieve the goals set out by the scheme. These include the opportunity to take part in NDCS’s unique Coaching Deaf Footballers course, developed with support from the Football Association, a British Sign Language for Football course and a coaching DVD . There will also be practical support and assistance from NDCS volunteers who will help promote any deaf friendly football activities taking place at the club.  NDCS sports and leisure activities manager Hayley Brown believes United’s backing will result in the scheme reaching out to a host of young football lovers.

“There is a real lack of football opportunities available from grassroots to elite level for deaf children and young people,” she explained. “This project is revolutionising the sport at all levels and we are delighted that United have signed the pledge and committed to giving deaf people an equal opportunity to play football.”

To find out more details about the pledge, please visit the website