Preventing Obesity in Deaf Children

Jamal Issah and Lucy Macri get basketball coaching from Lisa and Steve Ebersberger.
Jamal Issah and Lucy Macri get basketball coaching from Lisa and Steve Ebersberger.

DEAF children are more likely to become obese than those of able hearing.

It is a National Health Survey statistic upon which the Active Deaf Kids program is hoping to improve.

Sixty children in Padbury became part of the initiative at the end of last month when basketball Deaflympians Irena Farinacci, Steve Ebersberger and Lisa Ebersberger visited the Statewide Services Centre in the hope of inspiring hard-of-hearing youngsters to stay fit.

The session also included expert coaching in soccer from Gordan Duus at Football West and cricket guidance from Cricket WA’s Cassandra Thorburn.

Farinacci, a Deaf Sports Australia development officer, said deaf children had significantly less opportunity to participate in sport than their full-hearing peers did.

“As a consequence, the incidence of childhood obesity in the deaf community is higher than the national average,” she said.

She said the Active Deaf Kids program was “a great opportunity to introduce them to sports they have perhaps not previously played, and to make friends with other local children who are deaf or hard of hearing.”

Farinacci represented Australia at the Deaflympics in Melbourne in 2005.