2016 Auslan Auskick Season

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News Article

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Alana

    Auslan Auskick player Hasnath playing with team mates at the MCG half time match (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

    Deaf Children Australia (DCA) is supporting South Melbourne District Sports Club to deliver an Auslan Auskick program again in 2016. This program is the first of its kind to make footy more fun and accessible for children who are deaf and hard of hearing by offering the regular Auskick program delivered in Australian Sign Language (Auslan) on Saturday mornings. The South Melbourne District Sports Club has shown a real commitment to the program which will now commence its third season. Dave Wolf, who has coordinated the program for the past two seasons, was recognised for his extensive efforts and dedication to Auskick and named National Auskick Volunteer of the Year in 2015.

    DCA and the South Melbourne Districts Sports Club are encouraging young boys and girls between 5 and 12 years of age who are deaf or hard of hearing to join the Auslan Auskick program. There is a small registration cost for Auskick but we provide the Auslan interpreting. The season kicks off on Saturday 16 April and the program runs each Saturday from 9am to 10:30am.

    As former Auskick Coordinator at South Melbourne Districts Sports Club David Wolf says, “Two years ago, one of our participants, Malachi Kruse, was struggling to hear the coach’s instructions so we felt we had to do something about it. Thanks to the Auslan Auskick program with an Auslan interpreter involved, Malachi has grown in terms of his footballskills, as well as his confidence and stature. He is a great young footballer and it’s really rewarding for us to see him able to participate fully. Auskick is all about being an inclusive community activity.”

    Malachi’s mum Camilla says, “This has been a huge step forward for Malachi, who absolutely loves his football.  Malachi was born with CHARGE Syndrome which has affected his heart, airways and growth. He is completely deaf in one ear and has a moderate to severe hearing loss in his other ear. He was so keen to play football two years ago but it was hard for him to be fully involved. Now having an interpreter has really changed Malachi’s experience. He had never participated like this before, he had never had the confidence to ask questions, and I always had to try to explain the instructions because he missed so much. Now, Malachi gets in there to tackle and he really feels a part of the game. It has been really emotional for us to see – it means so much.”

    Malachi adds, “Footy is my favourite sport and my hearing aid is in the St Kilda colours because they’re my favourite team. I don’t know what the coach says but I know what the interpreter is telling me. I can’t hear properly and signing is easier. I can understand a lot more now and I don’t have to just copy the other kids any more. Now I can handball and kick properly and I want to keep playing footy for a long time.  I have been telling other deaf kids they should come too. You can get help to understand what the coach is saying so it’s much more fun.”

    Deaf Children Australia’s Development and Fundraising Manager Noel Henderson says, “The Auslan Auskick program can help these young players to play on a level playing field with their mates and achieve their potential in football. If you or someone you know would benefit from this exciting new program please put them in contact with us.”

    This program is proudly supported by the South Melbourne Districts AFL Auskick.

    View the flyer and great clip featuring ten year old Malachi Kruse which was created by St Kilda Football Club when their player Eli Templeton visited the Auslan Auskick program. Recently, 9 News featured Malachi again with their “Field of Dreams” segment on Auslan Auskick. See the video here.

    For more information go to the South Melbourne Districts Sports Club website or contact Noel Henderson Ph: 9539 5362 or E: noel.henderson@deafchildren.org.au or 2016 Auskick Co-ordinator David Raftis M: 0473 425 163 or E: auskick@smdsc.com.au

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