A touch of something different

Aquis Titans fans will be able to watch a touch football match with a difference at half-time of our clash with Canberra Raiders at Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday.

None of the participants will be able to hear the full force of the crowd.

Five Titans members will don ear muffs and join in two teams of players who are deaf or hearing impaired, in the Silent Sport Challenge as part of a promotion to bring awareness to touch football for the deaf and hearing impaired.

Many of the players will be in contention for selection in the touch football championships as part of the Australian Deaf Games in Adelaide in January 2016.

“Touch Football is a widely popular sport amongst the deaf and hard of hearing community in Australia,’ said Touch Football Australia CEO Colm Maguire.

“With more and more participants who experience some form of impediment taking up the sport, it is a great way to keep active in a social and fun environment.

“The inclusive nature of touch football allows individuals of all types of abilities the opportunity to experience the sport, as showcased on Sunday through the Silent Sports Challenge.

“Touch Football Australia is a proud partner of Deaf Sports Australia and Hearing Awareness Week and, with the fantastic support of NRL clubs like the Gold Coast Titans, we are sure to help increase the understanding on an issue which impacts one in five Australians and show that the sport of touch football has a place on the field for everyone.”

For many the ability to communicate with one another is taken for granted, once the ability to hear is taken away it presents many obstacles particularly when playing sport.

Simple things like hearing the whistle or your teammates calling to you become very difficult. It’s important to understand and adjust for individuals who are faced with such challenges.

The overall purpose of the Silent Sports Challenge is to help create awareness, but also to increase understanding around this issue and the having an impairment does not have to stop you from being involved in sport.

Week in week out people with hearing impairments are involved in local touch football competitions, whether as player, referee or ground coordinator. Many go on to higher levels of the sport, particularly as state representatives at the National Deaf Touch Football Championships, held annually.

Currently there are 349 affiliates across the country, many of which feature individuals with hearing impairments.

Queensland sides have dominated the men, women’s and mixed divisions of the National Deaf Touch Football Championships over the past few years, which is a trend likely to continue at next year’s Deaf Games.

To find out more information about touch football and how to be involved, whether you have a hearing impairment of not, head to touchfootball.com.au or get in touch with your local state office who can direct you to your nearest competition.

If you are a Titans Member and would like to participate in the game of silent touch at the Titans v Raiders game please click here to register