Welcome to the fourth post in my holiday charitable giving guide.
Today, I’m proud to present the USA Deaf Soccer Women’s National Team, 2005, 2009 and 2013 Deaflympics Gold medalists and 2012 World Cup Champions.
Deafness in Soccer
“Deafness is a hidden ‘disability’. In sports such as soccer, players face certain hidden disadvantages, such as not being able to hear their coach’s instructions during a game, a referee’s decision or the roar of the crowd. Because deaf soccer players compete regularly against their hearing peers, these aspects of the game taken for granted, can make a difference during the course of a match.
Under international criteria, to be eligible to compete in deaf soccer competitions, players must have an average hearing loss of 55 Decibels or more in the best ear. All players competing in deaf matches must remove all hearing aids before playing which creates another obstacle to overcome, balance – another important advantage for a hearing player.”
Need some inspiration? Read this from Meghan Maiwald, goalkeeper and captain of the US Women’s Deaf National Team:
The United States Women’s Deaf National Team changed my life. The last two years of our journey as a team and individuals has been filled with moments of laughter, tears, triumphs and struggles. I’ve played on great teams, from club, high school to college teams where the team chemistry was fantastic. However, the USDWNT comes out on top. We all are from different parts of the country, different backgrounds but yet we have two things in common; our deafness and soccer. I’ve grown proud and fully accepted my deaf identity; I’ve been trying to fit in the hearing world all my life. This team taught me to use it as an advantage as well as poking fun at ourselves using the phrase “#deafgirlprobs”, for example. The opportunity to represent the United States and the deaf community is priceless and that motivates us to be successful. To hear and read that we are role models for many people across the country is humbling. The support from fans, family and friends is what blew us all away completely; we all honestly get excited when people in blogs to major media television (CNN’s Soledad O’Brien and Kate Couric) mentions us. A lot of doors has been opened for us as a team and individually. I so look forward to the journey for the next four years and continuing to be role models as well as growing the game. Join on our journey to greatness!
Make a donation to support the USA Deaf Soccer Assocation.