As we approach the Christmas period, UK Deaf Sport can reflect on a range of changes and events during 2016. Here is a brief overview of some of those activities:

UKDS has developed a new vision and strategy to ensure we see Every Deaf Person Active and Inspired by Sport. The Board of UKDS has worked hard to deliver a restructure and a simplified way of working to deliver 3 objectives: Leadership of Deaf Sport, Increased participation in sport amongst deaf people and more deaf people winning medals on the world stage – through Team GB, ParalympicsGB, DeaflympicsGB or other sport’s national teams. [click here for more information]

As part of this restructure, I took over as Executive Chair in February to lead the changes at both the Board and Executive level. Additionally have appointed Valerie Copenhagen as Head of Participation, to focus specifically on our participation objective, starting on the 28th November. She replaces Lee Dolby (Director of Development) and Clive Breedon (Participation Officer), who left UKDS earlier in the year. Valerie will be working with our partners in sport and the deaf community to increase opportunities for deaf people to start and stay in sport and physical activity and support the infrastructure. [click here for more information]

Paul Challinor also continues as UKDS’s Engagement Officer (part time), focused on helping UKDS to communicate with our members and partners. Please do contact paul on admin@ukds.org.uk.

Thank you to those of you who attended our recent AGM and Communications Forum. One key outcome from the day was the need and desire for Deaf Sport to work together to raise awareness of the lack of funding and support for DeaflympicsGB. The DeaflympicsGB team receives no funding at all from the Government in the way that Team GB, Paralympics GB and others do and consequently we must raise funds to ensure our athletes do not have to pay to represent Great Britain. Please get in contact if you are able to help us in any way. [click here for more information]

Whilst the fundraising efforts continue, planning for the DeaflympicsGB carries on to ensure that we prepare the team for the Deaflympics 2017 in Sansum, Turkey. Sadly, Chris Ratcliffe has stepped down from his role as Chef de Mission but Christof Niklaus (UKDS Board member) has stepped in to oversee the team preparations. DeaflympicsGB has a new logo to help unite the team and raise awareness. [click here for more information]

Most importantly, 2016 has also seen some brilliant successes from our athletes, including Andrew Rees becoming the first Deaf Swimmer to swim the channel solo and England Deaf Golf’s success at the World Deaf Golf Championships with Lydia Ingman as the World U23 Champion, World Champion and World Team Champion along with Paul Waring (World Men’s 2nd place; World U23 Champion) and Donna Cross (World Ladies Team Champion). [click here for more information]

The 2016 Deaf Sports Personality of the Year was a great success celebrating achievements like those above. We are grateful to the work of Richard Weinbaum, Jackie Harrison and their team for running a brilliant event. [click here for more information]

Finally, I wish everyone best wishes for the season and please do get in contact if you have any comments or questions.

Piers Martin

Disclaimer: At the time of publishing all links included in this article were active and working, however over time they may have depreciated and no longer link to the original source page.