Global language technology company, thebigword, has become the Official Interpreting Partner for the Women’s England Deaf Football team, supporting them on their journey to the World Cup in Malaysia in September.
The Deaf Lionesses had to raise over £50,000 by the end of June for them to attend the World Cup and raise an additional £50,000 to support with expenses. Through the support of thebigword, the team have been able to take two British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreters to help during their training camps and matches whilst in Malaysia.
With an estimated 9,235,000 people in England suffering from hearing loss, both representation and accessibility are key for these individuals who encounter language barriers daily. The Women’s England Deaf Team being able to compete in this competition not only showcases the talent of the players – but helps to raise deaf awareness and how important access to services such as sign language interpreting is.
Claire Stancliffe, Player for the Women’s England Deaf Football Team said: “Participating in the World Cup is incredibly significant. Representation matters, children need role models in life and the players also deserve to showcase their abilities on the world stage – it is so important for us to have a deaf women’s football team. The success of the Lionesses last summer show just how far the female game has come. There is still a lot of work to do around deaf awareness in general and having a national deaf squad is vital to allow players a fully inclusive environment to develop and represent their country.”
She added: “We are very excited about our partnership with thebigword. Their support is allowing us to take two interpreters to the World Cup 2023, which is the first time in our history we’ve been able to make this happen. By having interpreters available, every single player and staff member is fully informed and understands what is going on. Without this it would become very frustrating for players take responsibility for all communication needs, when they need to be focused solely on football. We are also pleased to support and showcase the fantastic service that thebigword provides.”
thebigword provides highly-skilled and qualified British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters to a number of public and private sector organisations across the UK, through traditional face-to-face interpreting as well as through their video remote interpreting service. Breaking language barriers and enabling communication for the likes of deaf individuals is one of thebigword’s key values. The partnership with the Women’s Deaf England Football Team is perfectly aligned to their ongoing mission.
Joshua Gould, Chief Executive Officer at thebigword Group said: “The Women’s Deaf England Football Team has demonstrated remarkable skill, dedication and passion throughout their journey. By supporting their participation in the World Cup, we aim to promote gender and disability equality in sports and showcase the incredible achievements of female athletes on a global stage. We firmly believe that investing in the success of women’s sports teams not only promotes inclusivity, but also encourages future generations to pursue their dreams without limitations. By sponsoring the team, we align ourselves with the values of teamwork, perseverance and excellence that are at the core of both sports and thebigword.”
Mark Rice, Managing Director of Interpreting at thebigword Group said: “At thebigword we are passionate about giving back to people from all walks of life, regardless of disability and language barriers. Our partnership with the England Deaf Women’s Football Team is aligned with our corporate mission of accessibility – there is such a variety of needs across deaf individuals and every person has the right to full accessibility. This subject is close to my heart, as whilst my children are not deaf, they attend a specialist school and many of their classmates and friends are deaf. We are incredibly excited to not only help spread awareness, but help the Deaf Lionesses fulfil their potential at the upcoming World Cup!”
Their fundraiser is still accepting donations, with money raised going towards expenses include training camps and flights to support with the tournament starting on the 23rd September. More information can be found here.