first_imgIt was an eerily quiet morning at the Senate Oval at Parliament House this morning despite an eager bunch of players taking to the field for a game of Touch Football. To commence a big week of Silent Sports Challenge events in conjunction with Hearing Awareness Week, Wally Lewis and his daughter, Jamie-Lee, as well as several politicians and players took to the field with ear plugs and without communicating, while referees used flags instead of whistles. Jamie-Lee Lewis, who was born profoundly deaf, said that the event and the week is about creating awareness. “We want to show other hearing impaired people that there are no excuses to stop them from doing anything they want, to just get out of their comfort zone and get involved in sport.”Wally Lewis spoke to the two teams after the game on Tuesday morning about what Jamie-Lee has achieved and the importance of creating awareness. “My daughter Jamie-Lee has certainly enjoyed every opportunity she’s had involved in sport and never let the excuse of being hearing impaired be offered. We are very proud of her, as we are of all people hearing impaired in this country that want to go on to bigger and better things. Thank you to the politicians, you have plenty of things to be doing with your time answering to millions of people but for just the hundreds of thousands that are dealing with hearing impairments, it is certainly very much appreciated that you’ve given up your time today,” Lewis said. “I often say to football players, champions of today or tomorrow, that the most important feature of Rugby League is communication on the football field, and when there is no communication or it is reduced it makes it very tough. It really does open the door and make people fully aware of just how difficult it can be. “We are very proud of what she’s been able to achieve, she is the first hearing impaired person to represent Australia at a hearing sport in Water Polo. As she proudly declares every time she takes part in an event like this is that’s it’s never been offered as an excuse. She just goes on to show just how good and what an important role that hearing impaired people can play in sport, that also stretches to the workplace as well.”MP Mal Brough was full of praise for the event. “It’s been great to bring different parties together. Sport is a great leveller.  What Jamie-Lee has done with her life has changed many other lives. This is not an unimportant part of our day, it’s the best part of our day.”Following the parliamentary event, a showcase game was played in front of several local media organisations at Reconciliation Place, before the afternoon saw more Silent Sports Challenge games. Related LinksSilent Sports Challengelast_img