In May, Active Deaf Kids (ADK) was on the road with ADK Ambassador Jamie-Lee Lewis venturing to Mackay, Townsville and Cairns. This year’s far North Queensland roadtrip encompassed school visits, multi-sports clinics and deaf sports awareness training for the local communities.
Accompanying Jamie-Lee was Irena Farinacci, Sports Development Officer at Deaf Sports Australia, Julie Lyons from Deaf Sports Recreation Queensland and Bernie Chapman who attended as an Auslan Interpreter.
The first stop was Mackay where the team met with students, teachers and parents.
“It was amazing seeing the transformation from a young, shy deaf girl to a confident sports participant,” said Jamie-Lee, commenting on the immediate effect the sports clinic had on one participant that attended her local multi-sport clinic.
“At the end of the session, this previously shy girl wanted to keep on playing. This is proof that sports has no barriers. It was totally rewarding seeing her walk out of the stadium with a huge smile on her face.”
Jamie-Lee Lewis is an Australian water polo champion whose motto “Never, never, never give up,” has helped her succeed in water polo despite being hard of hearing.
The trip also included a deaf sports awareness training session with Julie, providing an insight into deaf culture and communication tips.
“It was an extremely worthwhile visit particularly given Mackay, Townsville and Cairns are quite isolated cities. The ADK program helps support and encourage the local deaf and hard of hearing students in sport, as well provide essential support and information to their teachers, parents and coaches,” says Irena Farinacci.