I will never forget the moment I walked alongside fellow Deaf and Hard of Hearing athletes for the 2005 Deaflympics as a Member of the Australian Deaflympics Team. I was part of that Team’s management. I had goosebumps as we walked onto Olympic Park in Melbourne. The feeling I had was one of belonging and connection. My hearing loss didn’t matter. I wasn’t concerned about what I could or couldn’t hear. There was a great sense of comfort and camaraderie with being surrounded by many young and older who have had the same experiences as I had, with navigating a hearing loss in this busy, fast paced hearing world.
The Australian Deaf Games to be held 10 months from now is about so much more than the sports and competition that we will all get to enjoy and support. It is also about connection and belonging for those in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. It is for some a once in a lifetime opportunity to be among those during these Games who you can lean into, talk to and know your experiences are valid. It is about forging lifelong friendships. Friendships that will be so critical in your well-being and giving you a great sense of comfort knowing you have this community that is always there when you find yourself needing support as you navigate through your life with a hearing loss or Deafness.
I am honoured to be a part of these games as Co – Patron alongside sporting legend, and one of our most esteemed members in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, Cindy-Lu Fitzpatrick. I can’t wait to be with you all in January 2024, and to feel those goosebumps once again I had all those years ago.
Thank you to the NSW Government, Lake Macquarie and City of Newcastle Councils and all our major partners, for hosting the ADG. By hosting this event you are showing your commitment to embrace all your community, and ensuring your communities, our communities know that they matter. Your actions as major partners demonstrate your leadership and commitment to providing inclusive programs and events. Thank you.
Deaf Sports Australia
Media & Communications Liaison Officer
0432 066 586
2024 Australian Deaf Games
0419 641 645