The Deaf Rugby Programme
The Hong Kong Corporate Sevens 2016 Tournament, held at So Kon Po last December once again turned out to be a resounding success. With the introduction of a ‘Tag Rugby’ tournament and the inclusion of mixed (men & women) teams we had a total of sixteen corporate teams participate. The new format proved to be popular and provided the perfect platform for a day out for the whole family.
The Savills Asia Management team together with Macquarie Group and KPMG presented a cheque for HK$731,691 to the Hong Kong Rugby Union Community Foundation in support of the Deaf Rugby Programme.
Simon Smith, Tournament Director Savills explained, ‘By bringing together Deaf Rugby and the Sign Bilingual Education project, we can create a complimentary programme to help tackle a number of the key challenges facing deaf youngsters in Hong Kong.’
The funds raised will be used to support the programme in 3 main areas:
Collaboration with CUCSLDS to develop rugby-specific signing and an accompanying video dictionary along with signing training for coaches and volunteers
Introduce an integrated rugby programme into the CUCSLDS Bilingual Education programme
Provide support for employment of deaf staff to support implementation of the above and allow the expansion of the Deaf Rugby programme
In Hong Kong there are 8,600 totally deaf individuals, and a further 83,000 who are classified as deaf/hard of hearing. There are only 2 deaf schools, one of which is closing its doors to deaf students in the next 24 months. For deaf youngsters in mainstream schools with no sign language support, education is a struggle, as even the most accomplished lip reader can only pick up partially what is being said.
The Chinese University’s Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies launched a Sign Bilingual Education programme in 2006, an innovative model that benefits both deaf and hearing students by using both signed and spoken languages in educating deaf and hearing students in the same classroom.
The Hong Kong Rugby Union Community Foundation has been running a Deaf Rugby programme for the past 5 years, with regular weekly training and an annual competition with a deaf team from Cambodia.
By bringing together Deaf Rugby and the Sign Bilingual Education project we can create a complimentary programme to help tackle a number of the key challenges facing deaf youngsters in Hong Kong.
Tackle Self-Esteem & Self-Confidence
Tackle Social Skills & Cultural Values
Tackle Language Skills
Deaf people do not need any more help than hearing people, they just need equal opportunities.