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A derby with a difference

Brentford v QPR will see young deaf people teach sign language to fans

1 March 2019

As part of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust’s social mix project, young deaf people will teach sign language to Brentford fans at our game against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. The youngsters, who are part of National Citizens Service project with the English Football League Trust, will teach football fans the sign language basics – including how to sign their name. Along with teaching fans sign language, a British Sign Language translator will translate Thomas Frank’s post-match interview to the young people involved.

The youngsters have already completed the first stage of the project, which saw six deaf children from the Trust’s Deaf Sports Plus project and twelve youngsters from our Premier League Kicks programme take part in a range of adrenaline-fuelled activities including rock climbing, raft building and archery for a week away in Dorset. Yet the project is also serving an important purpose – harnessing the power of sport to bring deaf and hearing people together.

And for Okash Oslow, 15, the trip proved an eye-opening experience. He said: “It was fun to learn sign language and to bond with all the other people on the project. I particularly enjoyed playing ‘Silent Football’. It was really tricky at first, but we managed to communicate through hand gestures.”

The initiative at the match is also part of EFL’s Level Playing Field campaign, which encourages a positive, inclusive experience for disabled sports fans.

Cliff Crown, Brentford FC Chairman, said: “We are delighted to be able to promote the Level Playing Field Weeks of Action at our game this week. We see ourselves as one of the most welcoming clubs around and we do all we can to give all disabled supporters a great day at Griffin Park every time we play. I hope to see more and more fans with disabilities at our matches as we move in to our new stadium and are able to provide even better facilities.

“Ben Lampert has been a great ambassador for the Club and the Trust with his work in deaf football and it will be fantastic to see him working with our fans and young people learning sign language at the game on Saturday. Learning simple sign language is something we can all do to help deaf football supporters feel welcome and I hope many of our fans will join in.”

Make sure you look out for young people teaching fans to sign on Saturday in the Braemar Road forecourt and in our family Area.

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