Kenya’s Yahe Badhir (left) celebrates after scoring against Mali in the Africa Deaf ballgames qualifiers at Nyayo Stadium, on September 15. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

Call them silent games. Sports meant for deaf people.

These lot continues to face untold physical difficulty as they seek access to coaching due to communication difficulties.

In fact, little progress has been made in valuing and supporting Deaf sport.serves two purposes.

Deaf Sports allow for athletic competition while also seeking to promote social interaction. The games also enhance social relationships, by bringing people together and creating a sense of shared purpose and identity.

You see, sport unites human beings and has a way of exciting us. We all get inspired for different reasons as we cheer on our favourite stars. It’s no different with deaf sports. They too, enjoy and take pride in what they do best.

Confederation of Africa Deaf Sports CADS President Mohamed Madoun said in the long run, structured setups in Africa will create a livelihood for young deaf people.

Speaking during the recent Africa Deaflympics Ball Games qualifiers in Nairobi, Madoun urged governments to invest more in deaf events “as sports-based investments go a long way towards strengthening communities and enabling young deaf people to live healthier, happier and more productive lives.”

“One thing the inaugural African qualifiers did was to showcase talent for deaf people. Now, the public is aware what the deaf sports fraternity can do,” said Madoun.

“I also than the Kenyan government for providing financial and logistical support to the participating countries.” 

The recently concluded games unearthed great football talent. Madoun said the level of competition seen at the continental event is an indication that the sport is headed to greater heights.

“Standards have been set and only the sky’s the limit,” Madoun said at the end of the one-week championship.

“Initially, it’s Egypt who used to earn automatic qualification slots for the Deaflympics Summer Games.”

“Seeing Egypt lose in semis was a true statement that other teams have made a progress in this area. Seeing young players from countries like Kenya and Somaliland was such a good feeling. That’s why we believe that nothing will come on a silver platter,” Madoun said.

Miriam Opondo, the CEO of the games said Africa can now celebrate success in deaf sports following government’s support. Opondo has called on more corporate support as they seek to help deaf sports hold more competitions.

“We now have representatives for Africa in Deaflympics. Initially, people used to mistake Deaf sports for Paralympics. They are two different events. That’s what had impeded the growth of deaf sports because funds were channelled to para sports only,” Opondo, who is also the CADS Secretary, said.

During the event, Senegal men’s team beat Mali 1-0 to emerge football champions.

The Senegalese now join the Kenya women deaf football team and the Kenya men and women basketball sides in the 2022 Deaflympics Games in Brazil.

The 24th Summer Deaflympics Games are slated for Caxias do Sul, Brazil from May 1, 2022.

 

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