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Our program just became more inclusive

Students playing cricket at Henderson College in Mildura

Image: Cricket Australia, along with Basketball Australia and Touch Football Australia, will now offer modified Sporting Schools programs.

Sporting Schools is joining forces with Deaf Sports Australia (DSA) in its bid to reach more school children than ever before.

Next term, three sports - Cricket Australia, Basketball Australia and Touch Football Australia - will offer modified programs tailored to be inclusive for all children, both hearing and non-hearing.

The pilot program, which is an expansion of its ‘Active Deaf Kids’ school education program, will allow for all children to learn together in an environment that is supportive to all.

DSA’s chief executive officer Garry West-Bail is very excited about the success of the pilot studies with Cricket Australia. 

“The joint provision of the program with a state cricket development officer and a deaf development officer provides the deaf and hard of hearing children a positive all-round experience in an all-encompassing inclusive environment,” West-Bail says.

“Deaf and hard-of-hearing children often experience greater levels of social isolation and obesity than the general population. Sport is a fantastic way to stay healthy, develop fundamental motor skills and make new friends.”

Cricket Australia’s National Schools Participation Manager James Quarmby says Cricket Australia is extremely excited about the success of the DSA and Cricket Australia pilot program. 

“We feel that this partnership is going to provide outstanding opportunities for students who are deaf and hard of hearing,” he says. 

“It also presents us with the opportunity to develop our coach workforce which will go a long way to embedding inclusion within our cricket communities.”

Deaf Sports Australia is the recognised National Sporting Organisation representing the deaf and hard of hearing community in Australia. In 2011, DSA developed and piloted an ‘Active Deaf Kids’ school education program to increase awareness among deaf and hard-of-hearing students of the health and social benefits of participating in sports.

Active Deaf Kids packages can be booked through the Sporting Schools booking system portal for each sport. The Active Deaf Kids products offer both coach-led programs or provides training and resources to teachers and students using deaf friendly techniques.