Small steps won't fall on deaf ears
SIMON Mahony and his rugby union team won't hear the applause as they take the field tomorrow.
But the Lismore man will no doubt sport a smile of satisfaction as he leads the Southern Cross Deaf Rugby Union team out for their first ever match.
The Auslan teacher and SCU human movements student has almost single-handedly established the team with a long-term focus of developing a deaf rugby community across Australia.
“We play our first game against Coffs Harbour (in Coffs Harbour) this Saturday,” he said.
“It's new and established very recently by me, all by myself.
“I'm focused on this new deaf rugby competition for the deaf community across Australia.”
The team has travelled to Coffs for a training weekend which included a friendly match, starting at 5pm.
Mahony, a Gold Rats player and Australian Deaf Rugby Union representative, said he also hoped to play teams from North Queensland, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.
“By participating in these events, SCDRU players will have the chance to be selected into the Australia Deaf Rugby Union team,” he said.
“They will compete in Deaf Rugby Union World Cups and some other tours ... in the future.
“This will be a great opportunity for the deaf community to represent Australia.”
Mahony also said he expected the concept to continue growing.
“We have a long-term plan to develop NSW and QLD Deaf rugby union teams including a proposal to organise and hold matches against the three New Zealand deaf rugby union teams during Easter 2009.”
But it has been hard work, and the project is dogged by a lack of funds.
“This is a very large load on my shoulders and hard work to establish the SCDRU for a project across Australia,” Mahony said.
“We need more sponsorship to achieve this. Any support or donation is welcome.”