President's Message - August 2011

WFD President Colin Allen and Craig Crowley
WFD President Colin Allen and Craig Crowley
ICSD is at a pivotal point, faced with the challenge of failed Deaflympics projects. Deaf sport could choose to go on alone. Or we could move forward with the help of other members of the Olympic Movement. The ICSD board has chosen the path of partnership.

The world of sport is a web of partnerships between event hosts and governing bodies, between national teams, regional confederations, sports federations, media, sponsors, government, anti-doping agencies and more. The world of sport is one big team. But ICSD has been playing alone. We cannot do the best for our athletes by choosing a path of isolation.

ICSD has already become a better partner to groups inside the world of deaf sport, working to resolve problems affecting French deaf athletes and deaf basketball players. ICSD is already acting as a better partner to groups in the wider sports world too, like the IOC and IPC. We are even developing new relationships beyond sport that are important to our community, with WFD and with the United Nations.

These new partnerships bring the prospect of new opportunities for deaf athletes, such as the chance to compete in deaf events at the Commonwealth Games. Most importantly, ICSD is raising the visibility of deaf athletes. The past 15 years have seen deaf athletes become excluded, invisible and unserved, while others have prospered. We must now end our isolation.

The ICSD board remains committed to strong Deaflympics. And strong Deaflympics, with multiple sports for deaf athletes will remain at the core of our work. We are working hard towards replacing Athens and Vancouver, to ensure deaf athletes can continue to look forward to Deaflympics. But in order to make our Deaflympics strong, our athletes must also be seen in other competitions. We must visible on the world stage, so that governments, the media and sponsors can know and support deaf sport.

Soon, we will be in Rome for the ICSD Congress. ICSD is deeply grateful to our friends at FSSI for hosting congress. Guests from the IOC, IPC, international sports federations and WFD will join us at Congress. There will be lively debate and ICSD will not turn away from discussing difficult subjects. We must take this chance to make some changes, to rejoin the team of world sports and stop playing alone. I look forward to seeing you in Italy.

Craig A Crowley MBE

By Craig Crowley