Wendy Russell | 2016 Finalist

Transforming opportunities in sport for deaf people

Wendy has pioneered a project in Brighton, to give deaf people and their friends and family in the local community the opportunity to play hockey.

By doing so, she has not only enhanced the lifestyles of those she coaches, she has also done her bit for British sign language.

Deaf in one ear herself, Wendy is well aware of the impact hearing difficulties can have on those looking to take part in sport. Her motivation came after she saw statistics suggesting that only 12% of young deaf children take part in sport out of school, a figure that falls to just 3% when they have left school. Shocked by those figures, Wendy decided to do something to about it.

Such is her dedication that she helped create 40 new language signs that were specific to hockey. Those signs have now become official British Sign Language thanks to her efforts. It’s her love of the sport, though, that maintains her enthusiasm on the dark, cold nights of winter. “It’s still the session I look forward to most during the week,” she says.



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