Seven New South Wales athletes will travel to Turkey to compete in the 2017 Deaf Olympics thanks to a $20,000 NSW Government funding grant. Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said the athletes will compete at the Deaf Olympics in Samsun, Turkey from July 18 to 30 this year representing sports including Athletics, Basketball and Swimming.

“The NSW Government is committed to supporting athletes reaching the highest level of competition and we recognise the unique needs of deaf and hearing impaired athletes in achieving this goal,” Mr Ayres said. “This funding will enable seven NSW team members to join twenty-one other athletes representing our country in the green and gold.”

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The special funding was welcomed by Chef de Mission of the 2017 Australian Deaflympics Team Bryn Davies.“It’s our priority to ensure the team is prepared as they can be for the pinnacle of our sporting calendar later this year in the beautiful city of Samsun, Turkey,” Mr Davies said.

“The Deaf Olympics is an IOC sanctioned event and with this vital funding our athletes can focus on their preparedness instead of fundraising, – just like their Olympic and Paralympic peers.” One in six Australians suffers from some form of hearing loss, and through events such as the Australian Deaf Games to be held in Albury-Wodonga in January 2018, the Deaf community can be inspired by deaf athletes at elite level.

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Deaf Sports Australia (DSA) coordinates Australia’s team for the Deaflympics, the Australian Deaf Games and provides a suite of other sporting programs to increase participation in sport by members of the Deaf community. DSA is the peak body for deaf sport in Australia with six State Deaf Sports organisation members – ACT, NSW, VIC, QLD, SA and WA and fifteen National Deaf Sports Committees.