The Deaf Rugby Programme
Members of the deaf community sometimes lack the same opportunities as hearing people and are often segregated in society. The deaf rugby programme aims to give deaf people more opportunities to meet new people, learn new things and gain more confidence. This programme see's more than 40 deaf youngsters attend weekly training sessions, and since October 2017, Hong Kong Rugby Union Community Foundation (HKRUCF) have employed a full time deaf coach.
Since the programme started:-
13 players that have joined local rugby clubs
8 senior members of the programme have now become qualified rugby coaches
This year Japan Deaf Team were invited to Hong Kong to play 3 sevens matches
The HKRUCF sent 8 players to the first World Deaf 7s in Sydney last year and are planning to join the 2nd tournament in Argentina in 2020
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 9 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.