In this edition of the Student Spotlight, we spoke to Olivia Preston, a HNC Coaching and Developing Sport student who shared her inspiring story about being a deaf student at City of Glasgow College.
Hi, I’m Olivia and here is my story!
I left school at 16 due to struggles with my mental health. The one thing I found helped me through this time was my love of sport.
In November 2016, I was selected to be part of 'The Rickshaw Challenge' by The One Show. The Rickshaw Challenge is formed of a team of 6 riders with the aim of cycling across Britain’s East Coast from Jedburgh to London, covering 470 miles in aid of Children in Need. The team was made up of people from both the hearing and deaf community. As a team, we raised £3.8 million in just 8 days.
I was then selected for Great British Deaf Women Football Club and went to Deaflympics in Turkey for the 23rd Summer Deaflympics. This competition is for top level deaf athletes, so I was truly honoured to be part of this team and represent Scotland.
In 2018, I was selected from 156 applicants to be part of the Young People’s Sport Panel led by Sport Scotland and supported by Young Scot. YPSP provides a national platform to represent a voice for young people from across from Scotland to influence and shape the future of sport in Scotland.
I applied for City of Glasgow College as I was keen to gain a deeper knowledge of sport, and learn the fundamentals of sports coaching, a career I want to pursue in the future. As a deaf student, there is lots of support available at the college. The staff are kind and friendly, and have shown me support throughout my time here.
Throughout my life I’ve felt that people have made assumptions about me due to me being deaf, however, I’ve challenged these stereotypes and I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been selected to for the Jock Young Award due to being an inspiring role model for Deaf Sport in Scotland.
I’m grateful for the opportunities my sporting career has provided. It has given me the confidence and determination and has made me the person I am today.
Deaf Awareness Week runs from the 6th - 12th May this year. Here at City of Glasgow College, we have a BSL (Brittish Sign Language) learning society that takes place every Thursday from 4pm-5pm at City Campus, Floor 3, Room 101. This society is completely free to join so pop along if you'd like to learn the basics of BSL.
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