Touch Football Australia (TFA) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Deaf Sports Australia (DSA), highlighting the inclusive nature of Touch Football and its accessibility to all people. TFA CEO, Colm Maguire and DSA General Manager, Garry West-Bail signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Monday at the TFA office. Hearing impairments currently affect one in five Australians with that number expected to increase in coming years. This commitment from TFA to those who may describe themselves as deaf, hard of hearing, hearing impaired or a cochlear implantee, is another example of how the sport wants to improve the experience for all persons as well as create an environment where persons with a hearing impairment feel comfortable.Maguire said that the organisation hopes to ‘make a real difference in the deaf community’. “What we’ve set about trying to achieve with this relationship in terms of inclusive nature is something that, from our perspective, we needed to identify and hone in on a community we could really help and embrace, rather than trying to be all encompassing. Around one in five Australians has a hearing impairment. That’s a wide community as is the Touch Football community, it is a very big sport, very inclusive and no impediment to participation and certainly we see the opportunity of further formalising in a Memorandum of Understanding the things that we’ve been doing on a day by day nature,” Maguire said. “From our perspective it’s now about the key strategies that we set about in our Participation Plan, how we grow this, how we embrace it, and certainly the Silent Sports Challenge from the 24th to the 30th August is one of those key opportunities to really highlight what our relationship can be into the future. West-Bail said that the Deaf Sports Australia community is ‘greatly appreciative’ for the partnership with Touch Football Australia. “The Deaf Sports Australia community, is greatly appreciative of what we see now we can do together in a partnership so hopefully it works well throughout Australia. The first program we’ll be working on is the Silent Sports Challenge in late August…playing the sport of Touch Football in Adelaide, Melbourne, ACT and the Gold Coast. So it’s really exciting, a positive benefit for us,” West-Bail said.The purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding is to increase the number of participants who are deaf or hard of hearing in Touch Football, through community based initiatives, the creation of specific material for hearing impaired persons and the identification of development pathways in Touch Football.The first community initiative for the two organisations, the Silent Sports Challenge, will be held during Hearing Awareness Week – Sunday, 24 August to Saturday, 30 August 2014. Four locations across Australia – Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Gold Coast – will host Touch Football events during the week. Further information on the events will be available in the coming weeks at www.touchfootball.com.au and www.deafsports.org.au. Related LinksTFA signs MOU
zoom A Magellan-owned oil platform, located three miles offshore of Corpus Christi, suffered a fire in the afternoon hours of March 7.According to the United States Coast Guard, watchstanders received a report of the fire and launched a Coast Guard Station Port Aransas 45-foot response boat crew to the area.Once on scene, the response boat crew established a 200-yard safety zone. There were no persons aboard the platform at the time of the fire and at around 6:30 p.m. local time the response boat crew reported the fire was out.A team of firefighters, coordinated by O’Brien’s Response Management, arrived on the platform and confirmed the fire was out, as well as no visible signs of pollution.An investigation into the cause of the fire was launched.