On 22nd July 2022, Telethon Speech & Hearing and Deafness Council W.A. joined forces with the Football Futures Foundation and Aston Villa Football Club to give an opportunity of a lifetime to children who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Sixty children aged between five and 12 years old who manage hearing loss took part in a closed training session with senior coaches from Aston Villa Football Club, much to the delight of these young sporting fans and their families.
Created through meaningful partnerships between WA’s leading organisations for children with hearing loss, Football Futures Foundation and the Aston Villa Foundation, the students showed great professional sportsmanship as they battled through wind and rain to train with the English football giants.
“When I heard the announcement that Aston Villa FC were coming to Perth, I immediately wanted to make contact and provide the children and families we support with an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Telethon Speech & Hearing chief executive Mark Fitzpatrick.
“Some of our families go through an immensely stressful time so it meant the world to them to have an opportunity for their children which would not have been otherwise possible.”
A big highlight of the afternoon included Aston Villa FC manager and soccer legend, Steven Gerrard, taking penalties against the students, many of whom showed incredible talent by miraculously scoring a goal against the former professional soccer player.
“To see the joy on the children’s faces was the reason why we do what we do,” said Mr Fitzpatrick.
“Working with Football Futures, Aston Villa Football Club and the team from Aston Villa Foundation has meant we have been able to give some of the aspiring young soccer stars with hearing loss an experience of a lifetime – they were brilliant.”
Students taking on soccer drills set by the coaches.
|A friendly match between the orange and green teams.
|A group huddle with Aston Villa FC Manager, Steven Gerrard.
|Representatives from Deafness Council W.A., Football Futures Foundation and Telethon Speech & Hearing.