ERIN SLINGERLAND
Perdeby sat down with the South African deaf cricket team physiotherapist and medic Lihane Weyers.
Currently studying at UP to become a registered physiotherapist, Weyers has completed many internationally accredited sport massage courses that have equipped her with everything she needs to help sport teams, such as the South African deaf cricket team.

 

How did you get involved in deaf cricket?

I was very involved in Northerns deaf cricket and then they pulled me up to a convention where I learned more.

 

Where did you learn to use sign language?

I have a lot of deaf friends, so it was very easy. I spent time catching up on how the language works and now I can speak both.

 

Is this the first international tournament for most players in the team?

Yes. There was another conference three years ago against England when they toured here, but about half of the team is new and most of them have never even been out of South Africa or even on an aeroplane.

 

How are the players so good at communicating and understanding one another?

They have learned a different way of communicating, and have become accustomed to this way for quite some time because many of them were born deaf.

 

Although there might be a few tricky logistics, is there any particular reason why deaf and hearing teams cannot play together?

There are absolutely no reasons why they cannot play together.

 

Do deaf and hearing teams not play together at all?

On club level it is allowed and it functions as a normal game. Even the umpires are the same.

 

Do you think it would be possible to mix a team with hearing and deaf players?

Yes.

That would be very interesting and I would really recommend it. The hearing players would find a way to communicate with the deaf players, and the deaf players would be forced out of their comfort zones to communicate with the hearing players

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