Fair Play for Deaf Athletes Campaign Launches in Parliament

UK Deaf Sport are asking the Government to fund and support deaf athletes as they do Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

Every four years, the Government allocates £612 million to Olympic and Paralympic sport. However, the current Government policy excludes deaf athletes from accessing it.

Currently, deaf athletes can only compete in the Paralympics and access funded if they have another eligible Paralympic disability. Instead, they compete in the Deaflympics.

This means that deafness is the only disability the Government does not fund at the elite sport level. As UK Deaf Sport Argue: “Being deaf should not be a barrier to reaching your potential in sport.”

Fair Play For Deaf Athletes

UK Deaf Sport is calling on the government to fund deaf athletes and the DeaflympicGB Team ahead of Tokyo 2025.

As part of the campaign, UK Deaf Sport is calling for the government to commit £3m to deaf athletes over the next four years. This would represent just 0.5% of the current budget, but it would help create deaf athlete talent and performance pathways. It would also mean a competitive GB Team could compete at the next Deaflympics taking place in Tokyo in 2025.

UK Deaf Sport also argue that government funding for elite deaf sport will help encourage more deaf people to participate in sport at all levels. Not only would it improve the pathways, it would also help provide inspiring role models.

One in five adults are deaf. Recent research has found that 53% of deaf adults are inactive, making the deaf community are one of the most inactive of all groups. UK Deaf Sport’s campaign could lead to more deaf athletes enjoying all the benefits that physical activity can bring.

No Excuse

Piers Martin, Chair of UK Deaf Sport said:

It is not well-known that the Deaflympics is a separate event to the Paralympics. But that is simply not a valid excuse for the Government to continue to exclude elite deaf athletes.

It is no surprise that activity levels amongst the 12 million strong deaf community are some of the worst across our society.

Join us to challenge this Government to make such a simple, but fair, change that will make such a significant impact across the whole deaf community, and society at large.

Emma Gibson, Head of Safeguarding Adults in Sport at The Ann Craft Trust, said:

We support UK Deaf Sport in their campaign to increase funding to further develop opportunities for deaf people to reach their potential in sport.

We can also see how this campaign could help influence grassroots participation rates for the deaf community, and this has to be a positive drive for change.

To find out more about supporting this campaign please visit the Fair Play for Deaf Athletes campaign page.