Today, Warriors’ Mat Gilbert, the UK’s only professional deaf sportsman, was unveiled as an Ambassador for Action on Hearing Loss, formerly RNID, to raise awareness for the charity.
And fundraisers today bolted up the iconic BT Tower to raise vital funds for crucial projects that help transform the lives of the 10 million people with hearing loss in the UK.
Following a man-of-the-match, try-scoring debut for Warriors last Saturday, Gilbert joined hundreds of energetic fundraisers who had the unique chance to scale the exhilarating heights of the 842-step communication tower and enjoy the scintillating views of the capital’s skyline to support the charity’s everyday work.
Gilbert said: “I’m ecstatic to be unveiled as an Ambassador for Action on Hearing Loss and I can’t wait to help the charity with its ground-breaking projects.
“It’s been brilliant to see hundreds of enthusiastic people challenge themselves by climbing up the BT Tower today.
“I was born with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and have worn hearing aids since I was five years old. I never let being deaf get in the way of my dream of playing professional rugby and hope that I can inspire people with hearing loss to fulfil their goals and make the most of their potential.
“I’ve played rugby in Wales, Italy and England – which presented different communication challenges with my lip-reading skills being tested!
“I hope that I can bring rugby to people who thought it was out of their reach by coaching deaf and hearing youngsters together. I believe passionately about inclusive sport.’
Gilbert has previously backed Action on Hearing Loss’ call for more deaf people to get involved in mainstream sport through clubs or gyms, and urges coaches and sports instructors to be more deaf aware to help the one in six people in the UK who have a hearing loss to have the chance to play on a level playing field.