Southern Zone Deaf Rugby Union received funding from NZCT towards interpreters at the 25th National Deaf Rugby Championships they are hosting. Interpreters make a huge difference by allowing all players to communicate with the management, officials, referees and the community who come to support the players.
The grant also allows the club to have interpreters at their committee meetings in the lead-up to the Championships, which means there will be no barriers for those participating.
Toby Agnew, Treasurer of Southern Zone Deaf Rugby Union, said: "This grant is important because it allows us as volunteers on the committee to work together collaboratively and achieve our organisation goals. It is extremely hard to get funding for interpreters, as it is not seen as a priority or need for rugby and other sports. Over the years we have had coaches that were not fluent in sign language. Having interpreters ensures equal access and clear communication for all players. We believe that without the financial support from funders like NZCT, Southern Zone Deaf Rugby would not have had the success we have had over the years as current National Championship Shield holders."
The 25th National Deaf Rugby Championships will be held at Linfield Park in Christchurch. Southern Zone Deaf Rugby Union will host this event at Easter weekend. "The Southern Zone Deaf Rugby team is currently training hard with the aim of winning the National Championship. We are hoping to break our record by winning this year for the seventh year in a row," concludes Toby.