Sport Access Foundation Founder and Director, Katie Kelly OAM was announced this week as Co-Patron of the 2022 Australian Deaf Games on in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.
Katie has been a lifelong advocate for promoting and advocating opportunities for all Australians to access sport. This appointment as Co-Patron of the 2022 Australian Deaf Games is a continuation of Katie's commitment.
"My earliest touchpoint with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community was a social gathering as a 15 year old in Toowoomba. Prior to that I had almost no contact with anyone in this community. Then later I would work as Media Officer for the 2005 Deaflympics in Melbourne. This would be one of my all time highlights on a personal and professional level." said Kelly.
"I will always remember when our 400 strong Australian team walked out for the Opening Ceremony. It was one of my proudest moments. I finally found a sense of connection in this gathering and being part of a community that was supportive and also understood the challenges of hearing loss. Notwithstanding the fun, laughter and competitiveness of the athletes who were so proud to represent Australia at the highest level. It reinforced to me why integration of sport is so important but also the opportunity to compete with your like-minded peers. It allows everyone to share their highs and lows through sport"
Sport Access Foundation is proud to support Katie in her role to advocate for all children and teenagers with disability and diverse needs to access sport. Each year approximately 12% of our applicants have hearing challenges including Deafness and Hard of Hearing.
From the 16th to 23rd April, the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie region will welcome over 1000 athletes from across the country to compete in 16 medal and 4 demonstration sports at the XIX Australian Deaf Games.
The aim of the Games is to provide a four yearly event that brings together Deaf and hard of hearingAustralians in a multi-sport environment that enables all participants the opportunity to compete to whatever level they aspire.
The Australian Deaf Games is a unique, four-yearly event controlled and managed by Deaf Sports Australia via a State-based Games Organising Committee. It is one of the oldest ongoing Deaf sporting events in the world.
The origins of interstate Deaf sport competitions in Australia can be traced back to 1895 when the Victorian Deaf cricket team travelled to South Australia for a friendly Deaf cricket match.
The first “Deaf Sports Carnivals” were held as early as 1911 and continued regularly until the Games in its current format began in Sydney in 1964. Since then the Games have been held every 3-4 years, with the predecessor to the 2022 Games being held in January 2018, in Albury and Wodonga.
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