GBC squad wins Deaf Soccer Tournament

The match referees did not use their whistle to address a foul instead they used their hands and flags. The players used gestures to show their frustration or joy.

By Preeteesh Peetabh Singh

The match referees did not use their whistle to address a foul instead they used their hands and flags. The players used gestures to show their frustration or joy. They communicated in sign language on and off the field .

The first-ever Deaf soccer tournament in Canada took place on Saturday, April 13 at The Hangar indoor soccer field. The ASL Constituency Group at the Student Association of George Brown College (GBC) organized the soccer game between Deaf students at GBC and Deaf players from the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf.

Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf (BRCD) has been functioning over the years as a community centre for the Deaf as well as service provider. It offers educational, developmental, children, family and seniors program and operates across Ontario with centres in Barrie, Milton, Parry Sound and Toronto.

Bob Rumball’s son Derek Rumball, who is in-charge of BRCD was also present at the event.

The GBC team did not have a pleasant start to the game as they trailed 0-3 at half time. Anthony Culham, Mugelan Suyampulingam and Godfrey Koroma banged in three goals for the BRCD team. At that point it seemed to be an easy win for them going into the second half.

But GBC had different plans.

GBC's Deaf soccer team beat Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf in the April 13 Deaf soccer tournament. Photo: Preetesh Peetabh Singh / The Dialog

GBC’s Deaf soccer team beat Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf in the April 13 Deaf soccer tournament. Photo: Preetesh Peetabh Singh / The Dialog

The team showed better intensity, co-ordination and skills to not only stop the opposition from scoring but also racked up three goals against them. Nicholas Valentini (2) and Mohammad Ayoub (1) scored for GBC and leveled the score was 3-3 at the end of the match.

“I was the only one at the centre during the first half, but we changed our game strategy and got two more players in the left and right with me being in the centre. It worked better that way. It was my idea,” said Valentini.

The match went into extra time and eventually into the penalty shootouts. Valentini and Ayoub again stared with two goals while the Rumballs got only one goal on target. Celebrations followed including the team, staff and spectators.

Ending up in the losing side after being up 3-0 in the first half, Anthony Culham from the Rumbells said, “Maybe it was lack of communication and experience. But it was a fantastic experience. We were here to have fun. Everybody had a good time and I am very happy to be involved in this.”

Christine Nelson, Rumball’s coach said, “We will like to have more such events organized for different sports. I am really proud of both teams and very happy that they played with the spirit of the game.”

Coach Emmanuel Sohou from GBC along with Kate Klein and Viktoryia Mikhaylova from the Constituency Community Centre were also present and were responsible for hosting the great event.

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GBC squad wins Deaf Soccer Tournament