Japanese Deaf Team

Wednesday July 19, 2023

Visiting Japanese Deaf Swim Team Inspire Ivanhoe Students

Ivanhoe Grammar School was thrilled to host the Japan Deaf Swim Association at their Sports and Aquatic Centre in Ivanhoe. The 50-metre, fully FINA-accredited Olympic-sized swimming pool was the perfect place for the swimming squad to refine their skills and train before the upcoming Sixth Deaf Swimming World Championships in Argentina.

Not only did the Japanese Deaf Swim Team appreciate the facilities while at Ivanhoe but they also enjoyed the opportunity to meet two Ivanhoe students who are hard of hearing and profoundly deaf. Year 7 student Phoebe and Year 9 student Edward jumped at the chance to meet the international swimmers.

During the meeting, the two Ivanhoe students were interested in how the squad trained and received instruction. They were able to see that the whiteboard and sign language were utilised to assist in the training sessions as the Japanese swimmers cannot hear anything while in the water.

‘It is amazing to showcase the achievements of these young swimmers and demonstrate to our community and our students that living with a disability does not limit your ability to achieve and travel the world. Anything is possible and all students should be able to follow their dream,’ said Head of Individual Needs, Emma Linke.

Year 7 student Phoebe thoroughly enjoyed connecting with the squad on the pool deck. ‘I can’t believe they are my age’ and ‘It is so cool to be watching an Olympic team,’ she said.

Year 9 student Edward is profoundly deaf and has bilateral cochlear implants. He was interested to meet other people who also had similar hearing conditions. He did not understand some of the communication that was had with the group as they used Japanese sign language, but with the use of the interpreter/ translator, he could understand most of the conversations. One of the swimmers was the same age as Edward and he was impressed with how brave they were to come to Australia with their coaches and not their parents. Meeting the International swim team really inspired Edward and he now hopes to learn Auslan one day.

Individual Needs Coordinator Alison Burns was delighted that the students got the chance to meet with the Japanese squad.

‘I loved how the Japanese team warmly welcomed Edward when they learnt of him being profoundly deaf and that he also undertook swimming training. What a wonderful experience,’ she said.

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