Federal Sports Minister Kate Lundy and some deaf and hard of hearing children were brought together last week to play MLC Tennis Hot Shots.
The budding tennis players were invited to play after Minister Lundy, the Australian Sports Commission and Deaf Sports Australia launched the 2012 Active Deaf Kids Program at the ACT Netball Centre in Canberra.
The new program, designed by Deaf Sports Australia, will encourage deaf and hard of hearing children to participate in sport and to help overcome some of the challenges they face in learning to play sport.
Funding from the Federal Government and the Australian Sports Commission will allow the program to run for the next two years.
At the launch Minister Lundy emphasised the importance of participation in sport through this new program.
“The Active Deaf Kids program is about levelling the playing field so kids with hearing impairment can get involved and participate in sport,” Lundy said.
Former Deaflympian Irena Farinacci and manager of the Active Deaf Kids Program also noted the program will “help inspire the next generation of young sportspeople and give them confidence and support to get involved.”
Following the announcement thirty local students played MLC Tennis Hot Shots with Minister Lundy joining in on the fun. Children were given the opportunity to play with low compression tennis balls, smaller racquets and mini nets. The modified equipment is part of Tennis Australia’s kids’ starter program designed for primary aged children, promoting an immediate sense of fun and achievement.
Netball, Futsal and Touch Football clinics were also run by other local ACT sports organisations on the day.