Students have a sporting day out

21/11/16
Students enjoy a fun filled day of activity at RIDBC Thomas Pattison School Multi Sports Gala DayStudents enjoy a fun filled day of activity at RIDBC Thomas Pattison School Multi Sports Gala Day

On Friday 18 November, students from Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) Thomas Pattison School participated in a fun-filled day of activity at their Multi Sports Gala Day. The students participated in a range of sports with 80 other students from schools across Sydney.

RIDBC Thomas Pattison School provides a quality bilingual educational program for deaf students up to Year 10 who use Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and English.

“Our students identify their Deafness as a strength when it is celebrated as part of their language, culture and community,” said RIDBC Thomas Pattison School Principal, Kim McArtney. “For students at RIDBC Thomas Pattison School, this culture and community forms part of their schooling career as we are a school for Deaf children.”

The day was put together through the support of a number of organisations to give Deaf students from schools across Sydney the opportunity to come together and interact in sporting activities that are fully accessible to all of the students.

“It’s a valuable day, especially for students in mainstream schools who feel excluded or inferior in their schooling settings to be in a setting where Deafness is celebrated and being hearing makes you the odd one out,” said Kim.

Students were able to come together for morning tea to break the ice and get to know each other before kicking off on the oval, with the opportunity to participate in a number of different sport workshops over the day.

“The day was a great opportunity for the students to be part of organised sport designed for the students rather than being modified to include them. We were able to have sporting activities, some lead by Deaf adults and coaches who excel in their sporting fields,” said Kim.

“It is important for the students to see successful Deaf role models in a wide range of occupations to strengthen identity and drive for their personal success. Many people are unaware that Deaf sports exist in many different codes both locally, nationally and internationally.”

It is only with the generous support of corporate supporters that RIDBC can continue to lead the way in supporting thousands of adults, children and their families, each year.

“We are so grateful to our supporters; Sporting Schools, Aussie Deaf Kids, Deaf Touch Football, Cricket NSW, AFL GWS Giants, The Western Sydney Wanderers and Parramatta Eels, for their generosity in providing promotional items, funding and the organisation of Deaf coaches and equipment loans to make this event possible,” said Kim.

RIDBC is a charity and Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education and cochlear implant services for people with hearing or vision loss, supporting thousands of adults, children and their families, each year.

RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in people's lives.