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Harrington tees up for deaf golfers 11.02.14

PÁDRAIG Harrington has become the face of a new initiative to help deaf people learn the rules of golf.
The two-times major winner has fronted a film that has been signed in British Sign Language (BSL) to help deaf golfers learn the rules in relation to water hazards, lost balls, bunker debris and other fairway challenges.
Harrington made the original video at his home club of Dun Laoghaire on behalf of golf's governing body, the Royal & Ancient (R&A). Harrington is the R&A 'Working for Golf Ambassador'. The R&A subsequently teamed up with BSL experts Signworld on a signed version to assist golfers who rely on sign language to communicate.
To watch the video on the R&A website click here.
The ten-minute 'Quick Guide to the Rules of Golf' is signed by deaf interpreter Nicholas Padden who enjoyed the "challenge" of trying to match Harrington's personality and style.
”It’s been a real privilege to interpret for such a great champion golfer as Padraig Harrington. I understand he has a quick delivery in an Irish brogue!" he said.
Mr Padden was assisted in his interpretation of Harrington's instructions by Signworld director and keen golfer Linda Day.
“Information in written English isn’t always clear to deaf people. I’d now expect to see fewer arguments between deaf golfers about what they think the rules mean," added Ms Day.
According to the last Census, there are approximately 3,500 users of Irish Sign Language here. While the language is very different to BSL, users should be able to follow Harrington's signed video.
"British Sign Language is very different to Irish Sign Language but many Irish deaf people have some degree of receptive proficiency for BSL given its widespread use on British TV, unlike in Ireland where ISL has very little airtime," said Professor Lorraine Leeson, director of the Centre for Deaf Studies at Trinity College Dublin.
Meanwhile, a team of deaf Irish golfers and their manager hopes to compete in the 10th World Deaf Golf Championship in Michigan, US, this July.
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