Wales Deaf Rugby has a vision to deliver a strategy that will enable deaf and hard of hearing children in Wales to participate in rugby union football.
We have a vision of a Wales, where all deaf and hard of hearing people of all ages, who wish to partake in Rugby Union Football, can do so without hindrance.
• In the age group 16-40 there are an estimated 61,000 deaf or hard of hearing people in Wales
• In the age group 4-16 there are 2000 severe or /profoundly deaf children in Wales
• There are 28 Deaf Schools/Units in Wales - at least one in every Local Authority.
• There are 22 Deaf Clubs in Wales where the deaf community gather.
The Wales Deaf Rugby Union has seen a number of key developments
• Formed 1996 and granted Charitable status.
• There are regular 6 Nations Internationals v England and Scotland
• Incoming tours from New Zealand in 1998 and Japan 2006
• Member of International Deaf Rugby Organization 2002 – 12 members.
• Winners of the first Deaf Rugby World Championships beating New Zealand at Eden Park 2002 – Wales, as winners, are due to host the next World Championships.
• Production of the 'Strategic Plan 2010-2015' and approved by the WRU Board
Development Pathway for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children
One of the key objects of the Strategy is to provide a pathway for deaf and hard of hearing school children to have the opportunity to play rugby.
We will assist them in providing a link to their local club with a view to them participating in regular training sessions and playing regular games as appropriate. In addition to as increasing participation at grass roots level and offering new experiences for deaf children, it is hoped that some of these children will then be identified to become part of the Wales Deaf Rugby Deaf Academy and then progress to the National Deaf Team. Presently, grassroots development opportunity does not exist, however, following the kind support of the Barbarians Community Fund who have donated a grant of £5,000, this will now become a reality.
The Wales Deaf Rugby Union Community Project
The Welsh Deaf Rugby Union, working in conjunction with the Welsh Rugby Union, is seeking to instigate a community project that introduces deaf children to the game of rugby union.
Objectives of the project:
1. To offer Deaf Rugby taster sessions to every Deaf school and or unit in Wales
2. To conduct taster sessions and three week follow up sessions as required
3. To assist Welsh Rugby Union Community coaches to deliver sessions as required.
4. To work with the National Deaf Childrens' Society Inclusive Activities Manager to introduce all coaches to signing
5. To signpost and support young deaf players into school and club rugby environments.
6. To operate on-going tracking of young deaf rugby players, introduced to rugby through this scheme, in their progress at club and school teams.
The project will see all deaf units and schools offered the opportunity to receive coaching from qualified WRU Community Coaches who will be assisted by Wales Deaf Rugby signers. Where appropriate, from these sessions we will then assist the children to become engaged within the club and school pathway that currently exists in Wales. We will then track these players to monitor they’re progress within their club or school team.