National Deaf Children’s Society.

A festival celebrating deaf-accessible football arrived in Newcastle last week as Newcastle United Foundation played host to the National Deaf Children’s Society’s (NDCS) Deaf Friendly Football Festival on Friday 3 June at the Newcastle United Academy.

Children aged 6-16 with any level of hearing loss and of all football playing ability were welcomed at the festival. There deaf children got specialist coaching from Newcastle United Foundation coaches and Rutherford Deaf FC, took part in mini-games and of course made some new friends. The Festival also launched Newcastle United Foundation’s new deaf junior football club, which will run every week after the festival at Rutherford FC.

Hayley Jarvis, NDCS Inclusive Activities Manager, said: “There is a severe lack of accessible football activities for deaf children and young people across the UK: only 84 of out of 120,000 teams are registered as deaf friendly. This festival is a celebration of clubs like Newcastle United who have taken the simple steps to become accessible to deaf young people.

National Deaf Children's Society - Deaf Friendly Football Festival event photo.

“Involving deaf children in football is great for their confidence and social skills. We want to make sure that deaf young people have the same opportunities to take part in sports as any other children. It is fantastic that clubs like Newcastle United Foundation are creating playing, coaching and socialising opportunities for deaf children,” said Ms Jarvis.

Ian Skinner, Disability Football Development Officer for Newcastle United Foundation said: “We are delighted to be hosting this event as it complements our existing disability football programme funded by BBC Children in Need. We want to enable as many children and young people in the region as possible to enjoy the game which is why we work in partnership with organisations such as NDCS.”

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