Carrigaline Teenager Represents Ireland At Futsal Championships
By Ciaran Dineen
Rebekah – Bekah’ – Grant of Dún Eoin in Carrigaline, has recently arrived home from Finland following her involvement with the Deaf Irish Women’s Futsal team at the European Championships. Ireland were placed in Group B alongside Norway, Germany and Spain. A total of 12 countries were represented at the tournament, with Ireland finishing in a credible 6th position, meaning that they have now qualified for the World Cup next year.
After only arriving back in Dublin on Saturday morning, Bekah and her father, Jonny, sat down to describe how the Carrigaline teenager discovered futsal. It was a little over two years ago when Bekah first found out about futsal through one of her friends. She had always been a sporty person and this was seen as a new challenge for her to take on. Futsal is a shorter version of football, which is similar to a 5-a-side format but is played with a smaller ball and indoors. Bekah herself finished the tournament having scored four goals for Ireland, two of these coming in a 6-1 win over Norway. While defeats to Germany and Spain were disappointing, the performances of the team were excellent and Ireland went through to the knockout stages of the competition after finishing third in their group. While they were narrowly beaten by England, they went on to beat Sweden 4-3 to go into a 5/6th playoff, where they were beaten 2-1 by Russia. Finishing 6th means that Ireland has now secured its place in next year’s World Cup in Switzerland, something which Bekah is really looking forward to.
Having been born with severe hearing difficulties, it is truly remarkable to see how Bekah faces this adversity. Fortunately, an implant allows her to be able to pick up on a lot of what is being said, while her ability to lip-read is also a significant help to her. Like many other deaf people, Bekah communicates through sign language and this form of engagement is something that she found particularly enjoyable during her time in Finland. “In Finland I met with many other people and it was a fantastic experience to see people from other countries who are like me. I was able to use some international sign language to talk to them and that was great,” the futsal star tells me.
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