Heeding their country's rugby call
DOZENS of deaf rugby union players will converge on Lismore this weekend with a common dream to represent their country.
Southern Cross Deaf Rugby Union will host the fourth deaf rugby development camp.
Based in Lismore, SCDRU builds pathways for the hearing impaired to be involved in sport at a competitive level.
Players from all football codes and even rival sports will come together for the training camp, which will be held on Saturday and Sunday.
Unable to get support from the Australian Rugby Union, SCDRU has relied heavily on local businesses and Southern Cross University to keep it afloat.
Chief official Simon Mahony is excited to bring people to Lismore to put back into the community which has given his organisation so much.
“I am truly excited to host the camp in Lismore and show everyone the use we have been able to make of sponsorship dollars,” Mahony said.
Mahony is part of the Australian Deaf Rugby Union team which recently toured Fiji and it is his intention to raise awareness among the hearing-impaired of the opportunities that do exist.
“Most deaf people may not know that there are these avenues for them to compete in sport,” he said.
“A lot of deaf people join sports clubs but fall through the cracks.
“They can’t keep up with communication being such a big part of sport.”
Mahony’s SCDRU acts as a feeder to the national team which will again tour Fiji in 2011 for the Pacific Deaf Rugby Union Championship.
“This weekend, we hope to spread the word among the deaf community and give people the thought of representing Australia,”he said.
As well as the two-day training camp SCDRU will play a friendly match against Southern Cross University’s Gold Rats rugby team at Crozier Field in Lismore on Saturday night.