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Nino Severino invites and presents to England Deaf Rugby at ITFC Academy Dome

by | Dec 10, 2018

Features and News by Nino Severino

As I am writing this news story, I’m feeling more positive about our region’s sporting future than ever, Ipswich now has its very own equivalent of an EIS (English Institute of Sport) World Class Centre, it might not be as big as the mega venue in Manchester, but we are slowly making a serious noise in the world of elite programme support through The Hub.

As Director of The Hub, I am super excited to announce that we have three National and British teams basing their sports science support at The Hub, one of them being an Olympic sport, with only 7 months into the Hub project, this is something we are all very proud of.

The hub team, Rugby, Deaf Rugby

The Hub Team with the men’s and Women’s England Deaf Rugby Squads

One of the teams we are very proud to support is England Deaf Rugby, this is a team that celebrates the involvement of deaf players in the great sport of rugby, it encourages those with hearing impairments to take part in the game. They are also committed to bringing awareness to the National deaf community, and ensure that all, including young developing children who suffer from deafness or hearing impairment, have the opportunity to be included in this wonderful sport.

The Hub, England Rugby, Deaf Rugby

Testing at The Hub

The Hub is creating a National network of very talented professionals from the world of sport, Wez Pooley is one of them, he is an ex professional rugby player, who went on to become a strength and conditioning expert, applying his knowledge to the Premier Football League. Wez and I met around 7 months ago, we hit it off immediately, and I am very proud to call this man a friend, as well as a business associate. Wez is one of those individuals who simply goes out of his way to help others, and its safe to say, without his help, England Deaf Rugby would not be basing their sports science support at The Hub in Ipswich.

Nino Severino, Welsh Rugby, Welsh Death Rugby

Nino Severino presenting

Wez plays for the Welsh Deaf Rugby team, and has done so since 2004, winning the World Cup 7’s in Australia in 2018, he is highly regarded and respected in the world of deaf rugby. He has been instrumental in setting up the home nations Deaf Rugby Team, including Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland, which aims to influence the deaf community awareness of deaf rugby and to highlight to the young junior deaf community that the sport is ready to embrace them into this incredible sporting family. The fact that Wez is a Welsh rugby player, makes this act a very unselfish one, and through his relationship with the English and welsh management as part of the Home nations set up, he ensured that this support, through our personal relationship was accessible to them.

Wez Pooley, England Rugby, Deaf Rugby, Welsh Deaf Rugby

Wez Pooley presenting

This was a chance for me as the Director of The Hub to have an effect on a large group of elite athletes, who do not benefit from the vast pool of resources that the general professional rugby players would benefit from. This event also tested the other exciting and valuable force that is being created in Ipswich, the fact that sports with incredible resources and those with very little, can come together to create something very special.

Nino Severino, Senior coaches from England Deaf Rugby

Nino Severino with the senior coaches from England Deaf Rugby

When I refer to this, I am talking about Ipswich Town Football Club, I approached them for support, namely Lee Oneil who managers the ITFC Academy set up, I explained to him that we had a National team visiting Ipswich, and The Hub wanted to ensure that they had a great welcome to our town, and that they were treated with the respect they so richly deserved, without hesitation he agreed to support this great opportunity for the town of Ipswich to embrace a sport that is creating so much positivity amongst the national community of deaf rugby players.

The Hub, Engalnd Rugby, England Deaf Rugby

Testing at The Hub

The Hub also played its part in the support we offered, by ensuring that the team had the use of our amazing lecture theatres and all the testing equipment. I was very proud to be part of this offering, as both, ITFC and The Hub, both needed to ensure that they arranged special provisions to make the event happen, which included specially opening up the training ground at Playford Road and the Hub on a day that would normally have seen both venues closed and unmanned.

ITFC, The Hub, England Deaf Rugby

Warming up for testing in the ITFC dome.

I and all of Team Hub, an 8-man back room staff all waited in the foyer for the men’s and Women Deaf Rugby Team to arrive, and when they did, what an arrival it was. 45 rugby players came through the doors, and to be honest, I have never witnessed such a mass of athletic talent, there were some seriously big units amongst this elite group of athletes. They all arrived into Ipswich the night before, planning for an exceptional two-day event, including all the support they would receive from The Hub and ITFC, finishing with their end of year awards, where they would present caps to some new England internationals.

Wez Pooley, England Deaf Rugby Team, The Hub, Senior Coach of England Deaf Rugby

Wez Pooley with Senior Coach of England Deaf Rugby

All the players from the deaf England Rugby Team were treated with the respect they so richly deserved, two presentations in our lecture theatres, one on Programme Management and the other on Performance Nutrition, a full testing programme in The Hub, Centre of Excellence, and then onto Playford Road Training Ground, the home of ITFC Academy and 1st Team, for an incredible extension of the testing programme and an opportunity to train under cover in the ITFC Dome.

England Deaf Rugby, The Hub

Testing in the ITFC Dome

It’s been an absolute pleasure to write this news story, and I’m very proud of the many individuals at The Hub and ITFC who went above and beyond to ensure our great England Deaf Rugby players, experienced this exceptional support from our region’s sporting community.

England Deaf Rugby, The Hub, ITFC Dome

Testing in the ITFC Dome

Twitter: @deafrugby

Facebook: England Deaf Rugby Union

Instagram: @englanddeafrugby

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