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Sporting opportunities for hearing-impaired youngsters in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 14:27 27 January 2012 | UPDATED: 18:10 01 February 2012

Deaftastics Multi Sports Club offers sporting opportunities for children with hearing impairments.

Deaftastics Multi Sports Club offers sporting opportunities for children with hearing impairments.

Archant

Deaftastics Multi Sports Club is just one of the good causes to have benefited from the Evening News community cash campaign.

The group, which organises sports activities for youngsters with hearing impairment and their siblings, was given £1,000 by Comic Relief last year to fund its outings.

Since then, organisers have used the money to take the children, aged eight to 17, on a series of adventure sports activity days.

The Evening News is once again offering club, groups and charities in the Norwich City Council local authority area the chance to bid for grants totalling £50,000.

Deaftastics organiser Karen Park encouraged other groups and charities to follow the group’s lead and make the most of the money on offer.

She said: “We’ve used the money to take the children waterskiing, climbing and snowboarding in the past year.

“Without the grant we wouldn’t have been able to do any of those things.”

As a voluntary organisation, Deaftastics relies heavily upon grants to survive, and is already planning to apply for this year’s round of funding.

Children with hearing impairments find it difficult to join in sports as they cannot hear the instructors, the referee or what their team-mates are saying.

But Deaftastics offers a level playing field, with a sign language interpreter on hand.

“Nobody feels embarrassed which is great because, especially as a young person or teenager, you don’t want to stand out,” said Miss Park.

“You can really see the children growing in confidence, the more they come. Although it’s a big age range, they all get on really well and everyone is accepted as part of the group.

“We try to provide opportunities where language and communication is not a barrier, and offer the chance to meet other deaf children and reduce isolation.”

Deaftastics also organises residential trips and last year went to Wales for a white water rafting trip thanks to grant money.

“What we do can be quite expensive, so if we didn’t have the money then we would probably be playing football in the park.”

The Community Cash grants are available to any constituted charity, community group or social enterprise serving a disadvantaged or deprived area of Norwich.

Visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk for an application form or pick one up from Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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