The ESFA hosted the annual Deaf Schools’ Finals on Tuesday 8th February at the Derby Soccer dome with schools traveling from across the country to attend. The event kicked off day 2 of Schools’ Football Week and was a brilliant advert for Deaf Schools’ football in England.
The event, which has been running for over 30 years, is a highlight in the ESFA calendar, with the number of schools and students involved growing year on year. This year’s finals featured 9 different secondary schools and pupils through from years 7 to 11. With three trophies up for grabs on the day, Senior Boys’, Junior Boys’ and the Girls’ Competition, determination from attending teams was high. Louise White from the Royal School for the Deaf Derby, explains the competition format in more detail below –
The teams arrived throughout the morning, eager to get the competition underway. After a 2-year break in the competitions due to Covid-19 restrictions, the teams were delighted to meet up with friends that they haven’t seen for some time and get the competitions underway.
Throughout the event, teams played short five minute games in a round-robin format. The winners and runners up of of the groups moved on to a semi final, with the winners heading to the final for a chance to lift the trophy. Heathlands School lifted the Junior
Trophy with Mary Hare School securing the Senior title and the local, Royal School For Deaf Derby, took home the Girls’ Trophy – scoring 24 goals and conceding just 2 on the day.
The trophies were presented by Chris Gordan, a member of the England Powerchair Football Squad and Neil Hope MBE, the RAF rep on the FA Council. Both are members of the FA Disability committee and were invited by ESFA Council Member, Mike Spinks to attend.
The English Schools’ Football Association is delighted to be continuing its support for this long-standing competition, celebrating the skills of all involved and allowing the pupils to experience all of the benefits that schools’ football has to offer.
You can take a look at some more information on the competition, provided by Louise White from the Royal School for the Deaf, Derby over on our Schools’ Football Week event page, in association with Haier. Louise said “We hope that by talking about the Deaf Schools’ Finals during Schools’ Football Week, it may encourage other Deaf Schools, or schools with Hearing Impaired Units to take part in future years“
The National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England.