Baseball camp for hearing impaired kids is a big hit

Yang Jian
A baseball training camp for children with impaired hearing has concluded in Putuo District.
Yang Jian

A baseball training camp for children with impaired hearing has concluded in Putuo District.

The scheme was launched to help children become more active in sports and better communicate with others.

Sixty children braved the scorching weather to finish their training sessions, from July 1 and 26, at the Qixing School, an education center teaching disabled children.

The camp, part of the Shanghai Juvenile Sports Summer Camp, was free of charge.

Though baseball is not as popular as football, basketball and table tennis in China, the sport has become attractive at the camp among the hard-of-hearing.

“These children were more focused and attentive to the trainer’s explanation and demonstration,” said Yang Qiyu, a trainer at the camp.

“We have to be more patient and add more body language and some cards to help them understand.”

Yang said the camp has been greatly helpful to the children’s mental health. Some children were reluctant to communicate with others at the beginning, but later they became more open and happier.

Mao Mao, 9, from Shanghai No. 4 Deaf School was one of the most enthusiastic students at the camp. Accompanied by his mother and brother, he learnt the sport’s basic skills with the help of a hearing-aid.

Baseball isn’t as physical as basketball or football, so it is more suitable to children with impaired hearing, who may need to wear hearing-aid or an artificial cochlea, said Huang Zheng, the mother of Mao.

“He is now more willingly to take part in sports with other children,” said Huang. “He even becomes more focused to do homework.”

Huang said she hoped such sports camps can be held on a regular basis as it will help her child integrate more into society.

Zhou Zhanwei, secretary general with the association, said the camp will continue with full government subsidies. He said similar training camps will be held in winter to attract more physically challenged children. It is also part of Putuo District’s long-term efforts to promote sports activities among the public.

The district government has been granted China’s “outstanding group” on public sports arrangements in 2017.

As another effort, all public elementary and middle schools in Putuo have opened their campuses to citizens in an effort to further promote sports among the community.

A number of activities are organized for the opening of the campuses such as juvenile sports training, community activities and skills training, the district’s sports bureau revealed.

The bureau has organized an international chess tournament, a bridge competition, as well as a sports carnival at the campuses for students to take part in during the vocations.

Putuo has also hosted the annual dragon boat race along Suzhou Creek as well as 10-kilometer elite running race and the elite football international invitation game to boast its profound sports culture.

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