On the 15th November 2023, UK Deaf Sport launched our Fair Play for Deaf Athletes Campaign in Parliament.
Supported by GB Deaf Swimmer Nathan Young, England Deaf Women’s Football Captain Claire Stancliffe, and Deaf Triathlete Oliver Prichard, we launched the campaign to the UK Government. We ask to end the discrimination against elite deaf athletes and fund and support DeaflympicsGB Team as they do Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
Over £600 Million is spent every four years on Olympic and Paralympic sport through UK Sport, but the current Government policy excludes deaf athletes from accessing it. UK Deaf Sport want to readdress this discrimination.
During the day we met and spoke with lots of MPs from all parties, including Virendra Sharma MP, Gavin Newlands MP, Dame Angela Eagle MP, Vicky Foxcroft MP, Peter Gibson MP, Steph Peacock MP, Daisy Cooper MP, Caroline Nokes MP, Paul Howell MP, Justin Madders MP, Kim Leadbeater MP and Staffer of Margaret Greenwood MP, Staffer of Victoria Atkins MP, Staffer of James Wild MP, Staff of Andy Carter MP. With support from Public Relations Company PLMR.
Following the launch in Parliament, we also took the athletes to see the launch of the campaign at Four Dials in Stratford Westfield with Ocean Outdoor.
How can you help the Campaign?
There are many ways you can help with our campaign.
1 – Sign and share the Online Petition
At 10000 signatures we can get the campaign debated in Parliament
2 – Write to your MP
Find a template letter you can send to your MPs asking them to discuss the campaign in parliament.
3 – share with your contacts and networks.
Joanne Cholerton, Chief Executive of UK Deaf Sport said: ‘Deafness is the only disability Government do not support at the elite sport level. Being deaf should not be a barrier to reaching your potential in sport and we think this is profoundly unfair. That’s why we’re calling on the Government to readdress this funding anomaly and discrimination so that we are able to create successful deaf athlete pathways that mirror their Olympic and Paralympic peers and send a strong, competitive GB Team to the next Deaflympics in Tokyo in 2025.
Jodie Ounsley, Honorary President of UK Deaf Sport and Winger for Exeter Chiefs said: “Growing up, I missed not having deaf athletes to look up to. We’ve launched this campaign to ensure every deaf person can fulfil their full potential in sport and activity and give the next generation of deaf children inspiring role models.”
Thank you to all who have supported our campaign and continue to do so. More updates to follow.
Full information and details – www.ukdeafsport.org.uk/fairplayfordeafathletes
• Deaf athletes can only compete in the Paralympics and be funded if they have another eligible Paralympic disability. Deaf athletes compete in the Deaflympics.
• £612 million is allocated over four years to Olympic and Paralympic sport through UK Sport but nothing for the Deaflympics or deaf athletes.
• Deafness is the only disability Government do not fund at the elite sport level. Being deaf should not be a barrier to reaching your potential in sport.
• UK Deaf Sport is calling on the government to fund deaf athletes and the DeaflympicGB Team ahead of Tokyo 2025.
• Join UK Deaf Sport’s Fair Play for Deaf Athletes campaign launching 15th November 2023.
UK Deaf Sport, the national governing body for deaf sport in the UK, have launched a new campaign calling on the government to end the discrimination against elite deaf athletes and fund and support them as they do Olympic and Paralympic athletes and support the DeaflympicsGB Team.
UK Deaf Sport, the charity co-ordinating the campaign, said that despite the UK having one of the best-funded talent and performance sport support systems in the world, with £612 million allocated over four years to Olympic and Paralympic sport through UK Sport, the current Government policy excludes deaf athletes from accessing it as they do not compete in the Paralympics.
Deaf athletes can only compete in the Paralympics if they have another eligible Paralympic disability. They compete in the Deaflympics which is recognised by the International Olympic Committee on the same footing as the Olympics and Paralympics. The Deaflympics is 100 years old in 2024.
UK Deaf Sport is calling for the government to commit £3m over the next four years, just 0.5% of the current UK Sport budget, to create deaf athlete talent and performance pathways that mirror their Olympic and Paralympic peers and send a competitive GB Team to the next Deaflympics taking place in Tokyo in 2025.
The charity also argues that government funding for elite deaf sport will also help encourage more deaf people to participate in sport at all levels by improving the pathways and providing inspiring role models.
One in five adults are deaf and recent research has found that the deaf community are one of the most inactive groups with 53% of deaf adults being inactive.
More details on how to support our campaign and end discrimination for deaf athletes can be found at www.ukdeafsport.org.uk/fairplayfordeafathletes