Community Programme

WRU Deaf History

WRU Deaf 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

WRU Deaf has seen a number of key developments in recent years

  • Formed 1996 and granted Charitable status
  • Incoming tours from New Zealand in 1998 and Japan 2006
  • Member of International Deaf Rugby Organization since 2002
  • Winners of the first Deaf Rugby World Championships beating New Zealand at Eden Park 2002
  • Production of the ‘Strategic Plan 2010-2015’ and approved by the WRU Board
  • Current World deaf rugby 7s and 25s Champions, third year running
  • Launch of the first WRU Deaf women’s team in 2019

 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.  

The WRU Deaf Community Project

WRU Deaf, working in conjunction with WRU Community, runs a community project that introduces deaf children to the game of rugby union.

The project invites deaf units and schools the opportunity to receive coaching from qualified WRU Community Coaches who will be assisted by WRU Deaf BSL communicators. 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. Days are usually organised within club regions, and where available, our players join the day for a question and answer session. 

Community days are currently on hold due to the pandemic.