Coordinator Andy Palmer and strikers Vitor Balde and Will Palmer were on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on Friday 1st May talking about the deaf football project and the trip to the national deaf children’s final at St George’s Park, the home of English football.
You can watch the subtitles and listen to the audio of the interview or read the transcript below.
Studio presenter: This Sunday, a group of Peterborough schoolboys will get the experience of playing football at a World Class venue.
The Peterborough Deaf Football Team Under 13s have qualified for the National Deaf Children’s Soceity Tournament Final – which is being played at St George’s Park – the training base of England’s national sides.
Sam Edwards went along to Orton to meet two of the players – William Palmer and Vitor Balde – as well as co-ordinator Andy Palmer…
Andy: Ok Boys, sprint down to the cone and jog it back
(Sound of boys running on grass)
Andy: Hi I’m Andy Palmer and I’m the coordinator of Peterborough United’s deaf football teams.
What an incredible opportunity for the boys.
They’re going to be travelling to St George’s park, which is the home of the English national football team, and the team are going to face Newcastle United,Morecambe and Charlton Athletic to see who is the best under-13 football team in the country.
Sam Edwards: How have you got to this stage Andy?
Andy: We competed at the southern national tournament which was in Reading and that was a couple of months ago and we won that for the second year in a row, no now, this year, we have the opportunity to, not just win the Southern Area but progress through to the national.
Sam: And how long has deaf football been here in
Peterborough of this capacity?
Andy: We began the football sessions a couple of years ago
in January, so January 2013 and since then it’s gone from strength to strength. That started off with a nucleus of five or six kids and this year we have coached near on fifty players in four different age categories and now we have also just started a girls football team. It’s gone from strength to strength but the important thing is, it’s nice to go and play in a tournament, but the important thing is that we’re giving deaf people an opportunity to play football and reach their potential.
(Andy talks to players in background: Ok two touches, nice and quick around the area please)
Sam: And Andy, your son, William, is one of the players. William, you’re excited to be going to St George’s Park?
William: Yeah definitely. It’s going to be great.
Actually, I have been there to watch England’s futsal team play against Lithuania, I think, but yeah, it’s really good!
Sam: What school do you go to William?
William: I go to Hampton College
Sam: And what year are you in?
William: Year 8
Sam: Deaf football. Do you enjoy playing it, what benefits do you get from it?
William: Well, sometimes with deaf kids, I find it easier to communicate because I know sign language too, but sometimes it’s a bit harder to communicate with hearing people, because sometimes I can’t hear them because I have cochlear implants. Yeah, it’s just harder sometimes.
Sam: Vitor. Deaf football in Peterborough. Do you enjoy it?
Vitor: Yeah. I really enjoy it. I go there every Monday and a lot of deaf children go there now. Sometimes I get fed up because I get blamed in football.
Sam: And what position are you Vitor?
Vitor: Last year I played left wing. This year I played forward.
Sam: Did you score many goals?
Vitor: I don’t know. I don’t keep count.
Sam: So Andy, how does this differ from non-deaf football. What different structures are in place?
Andy: First and foremost, most obvious to the onlooker, would be that we have sign language interpreters there.
Sam: Do you know sign language then?
Andy: I do yes. I’ve signed many of the sessions and I learned to sign because my parents are both deaf so I learned that from birth. Secondly, we make sure that, all the instructions that the coaches give, all the children there, who might have cochlear implants or hearing aids, all understand the instructions before they go off and do it, so they feel completely included in the session. But, I think, when you see the looks on the kids’ faces, it makes it all worthwhile.
Sam: You’re affiliated with Peterborough United as well and they help out?
Andy: The Community Department at Peterborough United have been absolutely amazing towards our football project which just started with the deaf children’s society in Peterborough, and they have supported us all the way with kit, equipment, some coaching, tickets to the games for the kids, training facilities, transport. Yeah, it’s a superb football club.