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October 8, 2004

Parkin hoping to train more deaf swimming champs with new academy

From: The Mercury, South Africa - Oct 8, 2004

October 8, 2004

By Xoliswa Zulu

Deaf Olympic swimmer Terence Parkin has established a swimming academy for children who are hard of hearing.

Parkin, in partnership with Widex, which manufactures hearing aids, has established the Parkin and Widex SA Swimming Academy at Kings Park Pool in Durban.

At yesterday's opening, Widex General Manager Priyeakant Nagin said the partnership with one of South Africa's celebrated swimmers had been welcomed by all involved.

"We need to work together to bring hearing loss into the open because it affects all walks of life. It doesn't affect only people who are old, but children as well," he said.

"We want to ensure that people with hearing loss have the same opportunities as those who can hear. Terence is a role model to everyone because he has not allowed his deafness to become an obstacle. He has gone beyond his deafness."

Parkin said he had established the academy as a service to the community in gratitude for the support he had received.

"Widex approached me and gave me the idea to encourage swimmers with disabilities. These children have faced many challenges and I want them to achieve their full potential so that they too can become role models for other children," said Parkin.

He added that he wanted to improve SA swimming and wanted the children to participate in the Deaf Olympic games.

"I want to impart my knowledge to the children and to see the excitement on their faces. Many of these kids cannot swim, but many of them have talent and, hopefully, with my assistance they will improve.

"For now we want to identify the swimmers with talent, and move them to their local clubs (and prepare) them for the Olympics," he said.

Nagin added: "This will be an opportunity for all children to meet and enjoy themselves, and to also have friends who will give them the confidence to do things they have never had the opportunity to do."

Parents with children who are deaf can contact Debbie Noppe at Widex SA at 0860 326 061 for more information.

©2004 The Mercury & Independent Online (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.