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Rajeev is 48 years old and lives in Coventry with his wife and son. Rajeev is profoundly deaf and a keen and successful badminton player. He has won many titles, both singles and doubles, over the years and is a Deaflympics medalist and is often noted as the Deaf equivalent of Sir Steven Redgrave.

After years of playing badminton, Rajeev decided he would go into coaching. Through the Sport England Inclusive Sports Fund project at BID Services, Rajeev was able to obtain his Level 2 Badminton England coaching certificate and a weekly badminton session was set up in Birmingham for the deaf community. Sessions have now been running for 18 months and many players have attended since the beginning.

Rajeev's Story:
After years of playing badminton at elite level, I have now retired from Deaf sporting events and wanted to give something back to the deaf community, to ensure the next generation of deaf athletes are developed and encouraged.

I believe it it important that young deaf people have access to positive role models, in particular Deaf sporting role models which is why I became involved in BID's Deaf Sports project.

I have now had the opportunity to complete my Level 2 coaching qualification and coach regularly in the community and in a local Deaf secondary school.

Having a profoundly deaf coach leading the sessions has a very positive impact on the players. There is no need for the intervention of the interpreters and all coaching is done in British Sign Language.

Quote from a player:
Having a deaf coach is an advantage for Deaf participants so they can communicate with no problem, and being able to understand each other without any barriers. It will encourage more deaf people to get involved in an activity where the coach is able to communicate using their language and total understanding of Deaf culture.

Rajeev is a brilliant role model for deaf players, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to his sessions as well as an understanding of Deaf culture and communication.