VDEI was delighted to support the Victorian Deaf Sports Day on 27 October 2011 by providing Auslan interpreters for the day. This is an annual event which allows approximately 300 deaf and hard of hearing children to participate in athletic events or tabloid activities. Participants were bussed to the event held at the Doncaster Athletics Track Pavilion in Rieschiecks Reserve.
The aim of the Deaf Sports Day is for primary school deaf and hard of children to participate in challenging and enjoyable athletic events with their peers. For many of the children it is an opportunity to catch up and socialise with their deaf friends whom they rarely meet.
VDEI offered sunscreen and encouragement to the young participants, proudly wearing multiple ribbons reflecting their efforts. We also enjoyed the engagement and provided information packs about our programs and services for teaching professionals including Visiting Teachers (who coordinated the day), educational support staff, educational interpreters, parents and carers, while cheering on the participants.
The Sports day consists of a running race for all children. The 5 – 8 year olds then participate in a tabloid sports program, while the 9 – 13 year olds compete in three different jumping and throwing events. While the students are competing for a trophy for their school, the focus is very much on rewarding good sports – with each school awarding a medal and trophy to the students they see displaying excellent sportsmanship skills. Each Deaf Sports Day, we all feel the warmth, friendship, sense of belonging as teachers, students and supporters pitch in and share a highly rewarding day.