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Parliament: Deaf Sport

Malcolm Bruce (Gordon, Liberal Democrat)

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations her Department has received about continued funding for UK Deaf Sport; and if she will make a statement.

Richard Caborn (Minister of State (Sport), Department for Culture, Media & Sport)

The Department has received correspondence from Craig Crowley, chair of UK Deaf Sport, most recently in April 2007. Mr. Crowley expressed his disappointment at UK Sport's decision not to fund his organisation and asked that UK Sport review the decision.

Since we won the right to host the 2012 Olympic games, UK Sport has revised its strategy, and it is now primarily focused on supporting Olympic and Paralympic sports. However its World Class Pathway Programme does not discriminate against deaf athletes, and there are already some talented deaf athletes on the Pathway who will continue to receive the support they need to succeed at the very highest level.

In my reply to his letter, I suggested Mr. Crowley contact each of the Home County Sports Councils to see if they would be prepared to fund UK Deaf Sport for the Deaflympics, and to obtain advice on alternative sources of potential funding.

Source: They Work For You, Hansard

It seems that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport by virtue of its funding stream now requires participation from Deaf people via the Paralymics or via the mainstream. To quote:

its World Class Pathway Programme does not discriminate against deaf athletes

Who made this decision, and were Deaf people involved with the decision making process? Because a hearing person (who is possibly quite clueless about Deaf issues), decided this "does not discriminate", doesn't mean that its true.

Comments (3)

The same thing happened in the U.S.; The U.S. Deaf Olympic committee (I don't have the exact name of that organization, sorry.) lost funding from the USOC, with the funding now going to athletes participating in the regular Olympics or the Paralympics.

Actually It's USA Deaf Sports Federation (USADSF). When USOC changed new board officals and they made decision about the fund issue. USADSF is no longer receiving development funds from the United States Olympic Committee, due to its realignment of goals in 2003 to focus on the Olympics, Paralympics and Pan American Games. USOC that limited access to several potential major corporate sponsorships. That's why USADSF have trouble with find sponorships.

The BDA were told some time ago, regarding their sports, that they had to get with hearing more and other disabled athletes, because otherwise funding could be seen to be non-inclusive. The bugbear was that while the funding had the strings attached, the hearing and deaf still didn't want to know about each other. The mainstream of sports said deaf didn't qualify, and the deaf said they preferred their own Olympics as a result. What has done it, was the shameful exhibition by deaflympic judges last time around (From America), who attacked HI competitors being included, and the stupid db limitation rulings set up, that actually, prevented signers entering !

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