Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Softball Signers

With warm weather here, more kids are heading outdoors. For some, that means joining a summer sports team. This is the story of one softball team that’s a little different than the others. 

You can always tell when a group of kids is having a good time. Sometimes the signs are subtle, sometimes they tell the story. 

Spencer Willey says, “I like playing baseball.” 

Like all the others, this preschool team’s average height is almost four feet and their average attention span is right around four seconds. But one thing’s a little different. 

Dawson Postl says, “It’s the Deaf team, with some hearing people.” 

Inside each one of their hunter green shirts is a kid who either is deaf, has a cochlear implant, or is a KODA. 

Postl says, “It means your parents are Deaf.” 

Postl is a KODA himself and his dad Rick is the team’s coach.

Rick Postl says, “For me, it’s a privilege to be Deaf and I see that Deaf kids are the same. They have the opportunity to live a normal life just communicating with their hands.” 

And when watching these kids, it’s easy to see that their coach is right. If you ask about any special girls on the team you get, a boy will just shake his head and laugh. 

Show up with a camera and tell kids they might be on TV, and they’ll stick out their tongue. 

Whether they’re running straight for home, or not sure where to go, these kids show their coach that this field is for everyone. 

Coach Postl says, “On the field, there are players who want to play, who want to learn the game, who want to win. 

And the fact that someone is Deaf or hearing, black or white, it doesn’t matter. It’s just a fun game that everyone loves to play.” 

And the kids, just out having a good time, are showing all the signs of that.


Gold Coast Poker Tourney Raises Money for Troupe

A Total of $4,100 was Raised for the Sign Design Theatre Company

The Sign Design Theatre Company, a Las Vegas-based nonprofit organization that teaches young people American Sign Language, is used to giving back to the community. On Sunday, a charity poker tournament took place at the Gold Coast Casino in Las Vegas to give back to them.

A field of 58 players showed up to play in the $125 buy-in event on Sunday. There were $20 rebuys available for the first hour. By setting aside $10 out of every $125 buy-in and 100 percent of the rebuys for the donation, a total of $4,100 was raised for the company. Since $100 of every initial buy-in was put towards the prize pool, the players competed for their piece of $5,800. Robert Mercer won $1,640 for his first-place finish.

Long-time Las Vegas high-stakes poker player “Oklahoma” Johnny Hale, whose daughter used to be a member of the Sign Design Theatre, was there to offer his support. He played in the event and at the beginning stages, walked around each table and placed $25 bounties in front of his friends and family members, just to sweeten the pot.

Also, to thank the players, the Sign Design Theatre Company put on a show before the tournament started that featured the performance of choreographed musical numbers, including Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler.”

“The atmosphere of the entire tournament, from the dealers to the players, was great. It was good day and a great cause,” said Becki Plutte, member of the Board of Directors for the Sign Design Theatre. “People were happy and having fun with some great poker play. It was a good combination.”

For more information on the Sign Design Theatre Company, visit the Web site at

South African raising funds to attend Deaf Surf Champs

Title hopeful Stuart Bazley

Team News

Deaf Surfer Hopes to Realise World Surfing Champs Dream

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 30 May, 2007 : – – Bluff resident Stuart Bazley hopes to realise his lifelong dream of taking part in the 2007 World Deaf Surfing Championships which take place at Kyushu Beach, Miyazaki in Japan from September 21 to 23.

The fit 41 year old surfer works as a Nampak Operator and is unable to raise enough money to fund the trip himself so is appealing for financial assistance to help him take part in the prestigious event and befriend other deaf surfers from around the globe.

“Going overseas to compete in an international championships would be a dream come true for me unfortunately its expensive to travel especially as far as Japan so I will need to get support from people to help me realize my dream.

I am also excited about the prospect of learning more about surfing culture globally and being able to communicate effectively with fellow surfers whilst in the water,” said Bazley who needs to raise R25, 000 in order to pay for his travel, accommodation and food whilst overseas.

Bazley was born completely deaf and relies mostly on sign language to communicate although over the years he has learned to speak when talking to others. Being deaf has not only presented Bazley with challenges when communicating with others; it has also affected his ability to surf.

His love affair with the ocean started at the age of ten when his brother took him out into the surf at Warner Beach. Due to his deafness Bazley found that merely trying to balance on a board whilst paddling was tricky so for one year he took up the sport of bodyboarding. He mastered bodyboarding at pace and was then keen to face the fresh challenge of learning to surf.

“I learnt to forget about the problems I had with balancing and focused on watching my role models surf and improving my own performance in the water,” said Bazley who is yet to meet any other completely deaf surfers from South Africa.

Bazley learnt to surf by closely watching top surfers such as Pierre Tostee, Greg Swart, Gavin Spowart, Paul Canning and Rudy Palmboom who continue to provide him with inspiration in the water. Bazley’s repertoire of trademark surfing moves includes his powerful top turns, floaters and occasional tube rides.

Bazley attended the Hillcrest Fulton School for the Deaf and then moved to the Bluff where he has lived and surfed for last 20 years. Not only is he a familiar face in the line up to all surfers that venture out for a surf at Ansteys beach, when finances permit, he also loves travelling further south to surf Green Point and cites Jeffrey’s Bay as one of his favourite spots of all time.

To keep in shape for surfing when there are no waves Bazley paddles a two-seater K2 canoe. “I have heard that the surf in Japan can get really big but I am ready to face any challenge and I think that I stand a good chance of doing well regardless of the surf size,” said Bazley who used to love squaring up to massive surf as a youngster and feels most confident when riding his favourite Baron and Clayton surfboards.

The World Deaf Surfing Championships comprise of three separate wave riding disciplines namely bodyboarding, surfing and longboarding. For more information on the event please go to 

The international surfing event kicks off on September 20 with the International Deaf Surfriders Association Meeting at Miyazaki. >From September 21 to 23 the World Deaf Surfing Championships will take place. September 24 to 29 will see a Deaf Surfari where the local surfers will expose the competitors to some of the best secret spots in south Miyazaki area and the Kagoshima area.

Any members of the public that would like to assist Bazley can deposit money into the following account – Standard Bank Jacobs; account number 250179903 and bank code 643226.