From the News Editor

Hey everyone! Hope you all have been keeping safe. This is my second Active Hands e-newsletter and we have so much to share! 
The last few months has been a bit of an adventure! In February, we celebrated 140 years of deaf sports and have had people from everywhere attend this event. It was both enjoyable and successful. 😁 
In March, we saw news of the Coronavirus unfold before us nationally and internationally. In many ways, this virus has impacted us and our lifestyle choices!
I now miss swimming and alternatively, I am getting back into pilates. We have been taking our family dog for more walks than usual. When we say "walk" to TimTam, our chocolate labrador, he gets so excited and hops around! That's what I call motivation! Sometimes our walks would would be so exhausting, that TimTam is puffing a lot by the time we get home! We'd have his little shell pool ready for his return and he'd just sit in there for over half an hour! My in-laws who lives with us, have started using our home gym and I am inspired by watching their teamwork. 
My boys have also started watching Haikyu - an anime TV series on Netflix, that includes volleyball. Ever since, my eldest son pleaded for a volleyball for his "isolation" birthday present. His father went to Kmart and got a budget sporting set. We now have the volleyball net set up on the front yard and that sport is apparently keeping this family together in good spirits.
Anyway, back to news; in the coming months, you should see a slight change on Active Hands - all news, announcements and updates will be grouped by locations. We will also be updating the website as well. Keep checking it out. 
If you follow us on Facebook, you'd notice some inspirational video posts - deaf and hard of hearing athletes are sending in their exercise videos to be circulated and I must say, I am AMAZED by their strength, endurance and knowledge. I recommend trying some of their exercise (but please do so in a safe manner! I don't think I can hold up the weights that Simon Mahoney from NSW was holding up!) 😳
Anyway, enjoy catching up and I’ll be back in touch again in a couple months time! 
Yours in sports news, 
Lauren Townsend  
Media & Community Liaison Officer  
General Manager's Report

Hasn’t time flown!! My last report in February focused on sharing our thoughts to you and all Australians affected by the horrific bushfires and other disasters such as floods and drought. 

Now we have the COVID - 19 (coronavirus) pandemic which is also causing great difficulties for all of us. Social isolation is having a serious effect on our lives, not only communication and relationships with family, friends and workmates but also mental health support. 
We do hope you are managing okay and it looks like Australia is in a better place compared to many countries in the world and hopefully the restrictions will ease up and more options to move freely will happen over the next few months. 
We made collective "noise" about access to Auslan interpreters during major announcements in relation to the bushfire crisis. It has been wonderful to see that governments across Australia have acknowledged the benefit of including Auslan interpreters during the many COVID-19 related announcements on TV and in public. We applaud the work of our Auslan interpreters and interpreter agencies in helping support access to these important information sharing events. Thank you.
Hopefully, all future emergency information sharing practices will mandate appropriate levels of access for all deaf and hard of hearing Australians. 
DSA has been working closely with Sport Australia and the National Disability Sport Organisations to find ways to better share resources, knowledge and skills. Over the last 6 months, work has been intense. However the COVID-19 impact could stall on-going development - the Board will be meeting tonight to discuss the next plan of action.
Through our collaboration work with Sports Inclusion Australia and Blind Sports Australia, we received funding in 2019 to develop shared awareness resources and training packages to be made available to sport organisations, with an interest in improving inclusion to deaf people and people with a disability. Some excellent print, online and video materials are being made and when available they will be shared on our website. 
We continue to develop our relationships with the NSOs such as Athletics Australia, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia, Touch Football Australia and the AFL. These organisations are starting to take more responsibility to ensure their goals and programs are more inclusive, so DSA has been able to support them with advice, training and program partnerships.
The ‘quiet’ time we are currently experiencing has also allowed us to spend time in updating our DSA policies and resources and link correctly with mainstream sport organisations. These include a COVID-19 Risk Management Plan, Human Resources policy and Strategic Plan 2020 - 2024. Be sure to check them out.
Please take care, wash your hands and stay home as directed by your State / Territory government. 
Keep in touch and yours in sport,
Phil Harper 
General Manager
National News
COVID-19 and its impact
Like all sport organisations and programs, DSA has been seriously impacted by the pandemic and government restrictions. DSA's sport programs and activities such as  Active Deaf Kids  have been suspended or postponed until later in the year. 
International Deaf Sport Championships (athletics, beach volleyball, golf and football) that the Australian teams were to attend, have all been cancelled. Each sports team have been in contact, to ensure they had up-to-date information and support as needed. At this time, new dates for the cancelled events are not yet known. 
Two national deaf championships events (8-Ball and AFL) are postponed until 2021. Two other national deaf championships (netball and touch football) to be held in September and October this year are still in consideration. A decision will be made some time in May, whether they go ahead, cancelled or be postponed. With the news that our AFL and NRL competitions are likely to start in May / June without crowds, it could mean both Netball and Touch Football events may not happen.
DSA is not getting any income from programs this year. The impact has seriously affected DSA's financial situation for this year and next year. DSA have applied to Federal and State governments for assistance and are waiting to hear results. They have also applied for JobKeeper funding to support staff retention. Alternatively, staff work times have been adjusted temporarily.
DSA continue to work / liaise with Sport Australia in regards sharing COVID-19 and government advices to all members. DSA have shared news bulletins, videos and information on all media platforms to the deaf, hard of hearing and wider community to help promote fitness, health and wellbeing activities while restrictions are in place. DSA will continue to show its support.
AGM and 140 years of deaf sport celebration
On Saturday 22nd February, DSA had a fabulous celebration day starting off with a well attended Annual General Meeting in the morning and the afternoon at Federation Square, Melbourne which proudly acknowledged 140 years of Deaf Sport. Over 150 people attended and there were five fabulous presentations. Here’s a few photos from that day. 
So much has happened since 1880 with Deaf Carnivals, national and state Deaf sport organisations being created, national and international championships, Australian Deaf Games, the establishment of Australian Deaf Sports Federation, now known as Deaf Sport Australia and State and local deaf sport clubs / committees. DSA acknowledges that the deaf sport history of Australia has a rich and vibrant sporting history and is grateful for the celebration.
DSA shared a short video presentation showing photos of all the Deaf sport activities that took place over the last 100+ years.
Another feature of the day was the presentation of the DSA Sports Awards. This was an opportunity to acknowledge wonderful sporting achievements over the 2018-19 period of our nominees and winners. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!
Staff at Deaf Sports Australia
The staff at DSA have adjusted their hours as part of staff retention plan. Since the COVID-19 impact, resources development that has been left behind in the past due to other commitments is now being combed through.

Please keep an eye out on the Resources page for more updated information.

From May 1st, staff will be working one day less to help with DSA's financial difficulties. At the end of May, the financial situation will be re-assessed and this could include the June month.

Updates will be announced later on.
Phil Harper
General Manager
Garry West-Bail
Project Manager
Lauren Townsend
Media & Sports Development Officer
James Hale
Sports Development Officer
Julie Lyons
Sports Development Officer
2022 Australian Deaf Games
The XIX Australian Deaf Games to be held on 16th - 22nd April, 2022 will take place in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.

The Newcastle and Lake Macquarie City Councils are excited to host this event.

The SWS Lawyers was pleased to announce its corporate partnership with the 2022 Australian Deaf Games. SWS Lawyers has agreed to provide pro bono legal assistance to Australian Deaf Sports Federation Limited (trading as Deaf Sports Australia) and was announced as the Honorary Legal Advisors for the Games.

The Games Organising Committee is now going full steam ahead to ensure things are locked in place. A website has been updated with a new look and more updates.

You can follow the Facebook page to stay up to date or visit its website for more information.
Sports News
National Deaf Netball Championships are due to be held in Canberra on 25th - 27th September this year.

The acting Chairperson of Deaf Netball Australia Larry, said that DNA will discuss with Netball NSW and AIS Centre further, at the end of May. They are closely monitoring the changing environment and impact of the COVID-19, as well as follow the Government's advice.

Please follow their Facebook page for further updates.
Touch Football
The National Deaf Touch Football Championship is scheduled for 9th - 11th October 2020, at Albert Park in South Melbourne.

With concerns over the impact of the COVID-19, DTFA Chairperson Ronald Franklin said the following; "It is still going ahead at this stage. The final decision will be announced at end of May. If this year's National Deaf Touch Football Championship is cancelled, it will be postponed to 2023 after the Australian Deaf Games."

Next year, Deaf Touch Football Championship plan to host its next Championship in Canberra next year. Dates for this tournament has not been confirmed.

It will also continue to host its 2022's event at the Australian Deaf Games in Newcastle/Lake Macquarie.

You can stay up to date by following their Facebook page.
Lawn Bowls

Deaf Lawn Bowls Australia is hosting its 2021 National Deaf Bowls Championship on 17th - 23rd of April next year. It will be in Orange NSW, at the Orange City Bowling Club.

You can check out their Facebook page for more updates.

Deaf Lawn Bowls Queensland Inc are looking for deaf and hard of hearing impaired experienced and newcomers (all ages) to join the Deaf Lawn Bowls Club for Social Bowls Games and big events. All newcomers will take bowling lessons at the nearest suburb.

Please text Barry Greentree by 0400 194 540 or call Brian Taylor at 0419 611 872

In the Limited Over Competition (LOC) run by Eastern Cricket Association, Melbourne Deaf Cricket Club 2 nd XI Men (MDCC) was in 3 rd place before the second ranking team, Northcote. They then played against Manningham and won their competition.

The fielding was praised as being superb, with two young players Tom Sharples and Himath Perera taking a catch each and James Hale catching once and doing two run outs.

It was a great day with a great win. This is the team’s 1 st Premiership since 20 years ago!
In January 2020, the Deaf Cricket Victoria Women’s team played against Combined State Deaf Women in Victoria, and they won 2 nil.
They played for two days, with one day being cancelled due to bushfire smoke hazard – a team of 12 women from both teams came along to play cricket in great spirit and mateship.
The Cricket match was led by Captain Marnie Kerridge, Vice Captain Kathy Sakellerios and Coach Di Day. Everyone pitched in with Marnie Kerridge being the top scorer in batting and Stephanie knocking most wickets in bowling.

Check DSRV's Facebook for more information.
International News
Deaflympics 2021
Confederação Brasileira de Desportos dos Surdos (Brazil) has been selected by International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) and was confirmed to win the bidding of the 24th Summer Deaflympics in respect of the following city and dates: Caxias do Sul, Brazil on 05-21 December 2021.

Further updates will be distributed at a later date.

More information can be found on the Deaflympics website .