England Deaf Ladies to play Devon Ladies at Newton Abbot Deaf Rugby Day
Newton Abbot RFC will welcome DEVON RFU and the England Deaf Ladiesâ€™ team to Rackerhayes later this month.
The international side will travel down to the South West to play Devon Ladies at Newton Abbot on Sunday, March 26, as part of a Deaf Rugby Awareness Day.
It is the second year running Devon RFU have held a Deaf Rugby Awareness Day, with Crediton hosting the event in 2016. That day saw the England Deaf menâ€™s team play Ide Barbarians.
â€œWe had a really successful day at Crediton last year,â€ said Devon community coach Wayne Reed, who is helping to organise the event. â€œAnd so we wanted to do it again, but we just wanted to change it a little bit and have the England Deaf Ladiesâ€™ team down instead of the men.â€
The menâ€™s international coach Sean Fletcher will be attendance and will help run a coaching session, along with Reed, in the morning for any players, of any age with any form of hearing loss.
â€œThe session is for everybody â€“ kids and adults,â€ said Reed. â€œIt is for anyone who has any form of hearing loss, impairments or are totally deaf. â€
The day will start at 10am with a deaf awareness discussion session, which is open for everybody. A signer will be in attendance and aspects surrounding deaf rugby, like coaching and opportunities will be talked about.
Then the outdoor coaching session will take place between 10.30-11.30am followed by lunch in the clubhouse.
The match between England Deaf Ladies and Devon will kick-off at 1pm.
Devon have been leading the way with deaf rugby. A centre of excellence programme was launch in the county last year, which is linked to the Exeter Deaf Academy.
The county currently have four players â€“ Reed, Newton Abbotâ€™s Callum Gill, Devonport Servicesâ€™ Steve Hodge and Okehamptonâ€™s Paul Lawrence â€“ in the England Deaf menâ€™s training squad.
Players do not need to be profoundly deaf to play. To qualify, senior players need an average hearing loss of 25dB bilateral. This translates to a mild level of deafness in both ears or a moderate level of deafness in one ear but normal hearing in the other.
Devon RFU hope this monthâ€™s Deaf Awareness Day will encourage even more players , both male and female, to get involved in the sport and possible go to earn international honours.
Keith MacLean, Chairman of Newton Abbot said â€œWe are delighted to be able to host this event, we are a Community Club, and have a history of reaching out to anyone interested in rugbyâ€
THE DEAF AWARENESS DAY SCHEDULE FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 26, AT NEWTON ABBOT RFC IS:
9.30am â€“ arrival
10am â€“ Deaf awareness indoor session
10.30- 11.30m â€“ outdoor rugby coaching for juniors and seniors
11.30am-1pm â€“ lunch
1pm â€“ Devon Ladies v England Deaf Ladies
The event is open to anyone. For more information contact Wayne Reed on WayneReed@RFU.com