September 24, 2004
Rhinos charging ahead
From: The Asian News,Â UKÂ - Sep 24, 2004
THEY may not be able to hear the roar of the crowd but that does not prevent a north west town's first deaf football squad from celebrating fiercely when they score a goal.
The multi-cultural Rochdale Rhino Deaf (pictured) made a glorious debut recently in the Deeplish Youth Forum football tournament and were cheered loudly after getting out of their group and just falling to reach the semi-finals.
It was a proud moment for the players and especially their manager, 26-year-old Dewan Choudry, a qualified FA coach and council community worker.
He said: "It all started when a young deaf lad got hold of me and asked if I could help to organise a deaf side. With the help of my organisation, the Bangladeshi Arts Association, and Rochdale Deaf Club, we got about 12 lads together. It was a multi-cultural side from the start with Bangladeshi, Pakistani and white lads.
"From the off the squad decided everything, including the name, and insisted they wanted Deaf in the team title as a matter of pride."
"Their style of playing does not differ greatly from that of a fully able side.
"Obviously they depend more on sight than other teams but we have a series of signals to deal with other problems like an opponent approaching a Rhino play from behind.
"When something goes wrong, like a muffed set-piece, the players automatically look towards me. I know sign language and can communicate."
Apart from playing more local sides, the Rhinos have set their heart on entering the national deaf championships.
If you are a deaf, or otherwise disabled, and want to have a go at football, contact Dewan on 0798 00 41 772.
First published by the Asian News
Â© 2004 The Asian News