Deaf Children Australia (DCA) is supporting South Melbourne District Sports Club to deliver an Auslan Auskick program again this year. 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.
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 18 April and the program runs each Saturday from 9am to 10:30am. For more information, view the flyer.
View the 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.
As 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 football skills, 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 is 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 last year 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 – so I am very excited about meeting Eli. 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 know someone that would benefit from this exciting new program please put them in contact with us.”
This program is also proudly supported by the City of Port Phillip, South Melbourne Districts Auskick and Active in Parks. For more fun activities for your kids, go to the Active in Parks website.