“A huge round of applause to Celtic FC for their kindness,” Scottish Deaf FA

Celtic FC Foundation, the charitable arm of Celtic Football Club, has made a donation of £6600 to meet the £40k target required to allow Scotland’s men’s national deaf team to play in this year’s European Championships in Turkey.

Celtic FC Foundation, the charitable arm of Celtic Football Club has today made a donation of £6,600 to meet the £40,000 target required to allow Scotland’s men’s national deaf team to play in this year’s European Championships in Turkey.

Scotland squad needed £40,000

The Scottish men’s national deaf team had launched a fundraising campaign last month to allow them to take part in the European Championships this summer in Turkey.   It is the first time the team has made the competition, but the squad needed £40,000 to pay for the trip to Turkey to cover travel and accommodation.

The Scottish Deaf Football Association (SDFA) which was founded in 1889, does not receive financial support from wider organisations to help get the team to the competition, so had launched a fundraiser. Joseph Sheridan, SDFA Secretary, said the players were desperate to represent their country and is delighted that Celtic has assisted, with so many others in reaching this target.

‘We are so grateful to Celtic’

Joseph said: “We are so grateful to Celtic for getting us over the line and to so many others who have helped us along the way.  It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for the men to fulfil a lifelong dream and it is the biggest competition they have ever qualified for. It just means so much to all our players.

“Without the support from Celtic and so many other people who have helped us, some of these guys would never have had a chance to do this. Life is really difficult being deaf. It has many, many challenges, so for these men to have a chance to represent their country, and knowing that people are behind you, is really something and is really emotional.

Scotland’s Fixtures

“We know that times are difficult and that everyone is asking for money, but to reach this target and allow these guys to realise their dream is phenomenal. I really do think this moment could have such a positive effect on the lives of so many, inspiring younger generations to follow their own dreams.

Around 4,000 deaf kids out there in Scotland

“There are around 4,000 deaf kids out there in Scotland and if they see what has happened here, they too can be inspired to go on and achieve their own dreams, in football or any other are of life.

“While we have reached this first target, this gets the team across but any additional support to further enhance our chances in competing in this tournament would be amazing.

“Agreeing to keep our JustGiving page going will allow us to accommodate further contributions and we value all further support going forward.”

The European Deaf Football Championships 2024 will take place in Turkey between 20 May and 1st June 2024.

The Scottish Deaf FA have hailed the large donation from Celtic on their Facebook page stating:

Incredible News Alert! 

“We’re absolutely thrilled to announce that we’ve hit a major milestone in our fundraising efforts! With immense dedication and support from all of you, we’ve been tirelessly working towards our goal of £40k on JustGiving to send the lads to Turkey this May

“But wait, there’s more! A massive shoutout and heartfelt thanks to Celtic FC for their incredibly generous donation of £6.6k! Their support has propelled us closer to our target and left us speechless with gratitude.

“A huge round of applause to Celtic FC for their kindness and belief in our cause. We couldn’t be more thankful for their incredible gesture. Together, we’re making dreams a reality!”

Significant work with deaf people

Celtic has carried out significant work with deaf people in recent years through a range of initiatives.  The Scottish Champions also now have a British Sign Language (BSI) Interpreter available at Celtic Park for all home matches and in fact we were delighted to welcome two players from Scotland’s deaf team to a match recently at Celtic Park.

Tony Hamilton, Chief Executive of Celtic FC Foundation, added: “We are delighted, along with so many others to have contributed to achieving this target which will allow the team to go to the Championships. It is a great collective effort.

A brilliant achievement

“The appeal really resonated with us, given our initiatives working with deaf people. The challenges these guys face in every day life are significant and for them to get to the Euros is a brilliant achievement, which we had to make happen for them.

“We hope they have a really successful tournament but above all, enjoy this experience which they so richly deserve.”

Any deaf supporter looking for more information on the services offered to the deaf on match days at Celtic Park can either email the club on dao@celticfc.co.uk or by messaging mobile number 07856016323

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