Bernard Selly Kosi Kumah 0

Amnesty for World Deaf Sports Federations

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Deaflympics is an International Olympic Committee-sanctioned event at which deaf athletes representing their nation compete at an elite level. Founded by Eugene Ruben-Alcais, the first ever gathering of Deaflympians was for the inaugural event was in 1924 in the city of Paris, France. With the purpose to provide opportunities for deaf persons to participate in elite sports, the coming together of athletes of different nations unites the linguistic minority community in the fight for recognition.
All over the world, National Deaf Sports Federations are faced with herculean task of fundraising to facilitate participation. However, the African situation of continuous exclusion from the event caused by the neglect of state actors deserves the attention of the governing body of the games. The inability of the Confederation of Africa Deaf Sports(CADS) to beef up the African squad for the games is the lack of recognition, endorsement and support the organization has received. Sometimes, it is pure neglect and discrimination, which most Deaf communities in Africa are struggling to overcome in this era of inclusivity.
Since the beginning of Deaflympics in 1924 to the last edition in 2017, less than 15 out of 24 ICSD registered members from Africa participated. Sadly, the last edition which according to ICSD statistics recorded 12 participating nations from Africa, less than 5 actually took part in the event. Although most of these nations had gone through preliminary and final registrations, National Federations were not allocated fund by respective government to facilitate participation. They were either advised to withdraw participation or go on their own.
It is well known that every action attracts a penalty. And according to the ICSD, once a nation withdraws after final registration, penalty effected. This trend has been going on for a number of years. And it brought untold hardship on National Deaf Sports Federations. The hopes of fulfilling wishes of athletes whose prayer is to set eyes on Deaflympics flames once in their lifetime remains in limbo because of added DEBT. In fact, level of debt does not speak well of the Africans; no blame game.
Leaders went through a lot, trying to court the support of the government, the society, companies, philanthropists and many more but to no avail. These actions continue to worsen the African debt scenario, and have become a disincentive to others whose athletes are eager and ever ready to fight for a spot in the elite competition.
It is for the reason of indebtedness of National Deaf Sports Federations in Africa that I write with the intent to ask the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf(ICSD) leaded by new President Mr. Kang CHEN to exercise mercy and grant African Nations DEBT RELIEF and bless the Deaf sports communities the word over an AMNESTY. The Confederation of Africa Deaf Sports(CADS) is also called upon to make an humble appeal on the behalf of Africa.
We can all start afresh again in the spirit of leveraging existing gap in Deaf Sport for the better of the future generation. I believe that this petition when accepted by the ICSD will be a great relief to Africa as a whole. It will be a motivation to current crop of leaders who are struggling to find a solution so as not to disenfranchise the upcoming generation of young men and women who are Deaf from Deaflympics competition. The young cannot suffer for the wrongs of the elderly. It is for this reason that this petition asks for your endorsement. This will go a long way to help redevelop the African Deaf Sports Community for the game, the sport, the community and most especially the beauty of 2021 SUMMER DEAFLYMPICS


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