Deafblind Awareness Week 2021: Worcester City player shares her story
June 28, 2021
Midfielder for the first team, Emma Collins has dealt with moderate hearing loss since the age of 14 — she discusses how her condition affects her both on and off the pitch.
“When I was fourteen, I developed a severe ear infection whilst I was on holiday, which left me with permanent hearing loss.
“What I struggle with the most is accepting my condition and knowing that it will not get any better. What is also hard is that because I lost my hearing so young, I cannot remember what it is like to hear things normally.
She adds: “You really take these things for granted.”
It is clear that Emma does not let her condition hold her back. She has just completed her second year at the University of Worcester, studying for a degree in Sports Coaching Science with Disability Sport.
Emma comments: “I am a real advocate for inclusion in sport.
“I have been coaching since I was thirteen and one thing I have found is that people with disabilities never have equal opportunities, which is completely unfair.”
Part of Worcester City Women FC’s vision is to leverage the power of football as a force for social good. Community, equality, but most importantly people are at the heart of what they do. The organisation is based on a commitment culture, giving everyone involved a sense of purpose and meaning.
Club welfare officer, Jo Knight reiterates this: “At Worcester City Women FC, we believe that everyone should be equally valued, we want the club to be a place where people feel safe and secure.
“We strive to do all we can to promote equality of opportunities, removing as many barriers as possible, so that everyone is part of the team.
“Our values include focusing on access and inclusion, and we will make every effort to ensure each individual feels welcome.”
Just under half a million people are affected by sight and hearing loss in the UK, that’s enough to fill Wembley Stadium nearly five times. Worcester City Women FC are proud to support Deafblind Awareness Week 2021.
This passionate player has been at Worcester City Women for two years. Emma talks positively about the challenges she has faced throughout her football career so far: “ My hearing loss has made me more observant as a player.
“Because I can not hear my teammates or the whistle, I am always checking where I need to be on the pitch.”
She adds: “The support from the coaching staff at the club has been brilliant.
“When necessary, visual aids will be provided to support me during training sessions, and if something needs to be said on the pitch, someone will come over and talk to me, instead of trying to shout.”