Ben Lampert, Sports Coach at Brentford FC Community Sports Trust and England’s Deaf Football Assistant Coach, is helping to break down barriers and inspire the next generation of players.
The 33-year-old who won Gold with Team GB Deaf Football at the Melbourne 2005 Deaflympics, has been working with the Bees’ Trust for nine years and currently oversees the Deaf Coaching programme.
The programme encourages children and adults to get involved with sport and tackle the existing obstacles they face.
Talking about his involvement with the Trust he said:
“I got involved with the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust so that I could break down the barriers I faced as a child and to ensure that sport can be enjoyed by all deaf people.
“Growing up, I had to fit in and adapt to sports sessions – rather than the sessions being adapted to me and my disability.
“Sometimes, I think there is a misconception that deaf people can’t achieve anything because of their disability.
“If deaf people can achieve great things in sport, we can change this mentality.”
Ben has also been responsible for fostering greater integration amongst deaf and hearing children through the Trust’s NCS programme.
As part of the programme, deaf and hearing youngsters taught Brentford fans signs language at Brentford’s west London derby against QPR back in March.
Ben taught Brentford FC’s Head Coach Thomas Frank sign language and the post-match press conference was translated into sign language for deaf people involved.
Ben said: “It means a lot to me to inspire and coach the younger generation to develop and achieve their goals.
“It is important to me as there are not enough deaf coaches. I want to encourage others to get involved and learn from my experiences and knowledge.”
Although Ben is currently in Crete coaching England’s deaf team for the Deaf Euros, he says his work with hundreds of children, from Brent to Richmond, is his proudest achievement.
Peter Shears, who oversees the Trust’s disability projects, spoke of Ben’s invaluable contribution to the charity. He said:
“When we first started our deaf coaching programme we only had three or four deaf children involved. Now, we engage with more than 180 deaf children and adults each year.
“This is testament to Ben’s influence amongst the deaf community and how he harnesses the power of sport to inspire deaf children and adults.”