Deaf awareness week in the spotlight with Joe Dixon

This year’s #DeafAwarenessWeek theme is about ‘Coming through it together’ and throughout the week we will be looking to engage with our participants and others to encourage them to celebrate deafness, raise awareness of best practice and use the week for demonstrating change and positivity.

To help celebrate and raise awareness of deafness, we have spoken to our very own England Deaf Footballer and Women’s Football Coach, Joe Dixon. Joe has worked for Sheffield United Community Foundation for the last two years.

In the spotlight with Joe Dixon…

What is your role at the Foundation?

Women’s Education Football Coach

 What do you enjoy most about your job?

Helping young footballers take their game to the next level. Whether that is the technical, psychological, social, or tactical elements of their game. Being able to coach and work with them on a daily basis on a world-class pitch at Handsworth allows a great opportunity for this type of development to happen.

 How did you come to work in Sport? What did your journey look like to employment?

I didn’t think much about working in Sport when I was growing up, it was more when I first started playing for the GB Deaf U21’s side that I started to think about it. I wanted to transfer my skills and knowledge of the game to younger individuals within the game. Since then, I have done a number of different coaching roles from beginners to academy level as well as running my own company now. But this has involved a number of sacrifices and unsociable hours. But it has included some incredible highlights such as working in Canada for 9 months.

 What advice would you give to an individual who wanted to work in Sport?

Get as much experience as possible, build up your knowledge and ability to coach different types of players and groups. Understand that where you face challenges, will be your greatest lessons. Having worked with some tough groups and schools, these have taught me the best skills I have needed to take forward with my coaching career. You have to also accept that it will involve unsociable hours and you have to be prepared to be waking up early hours of the morning at the weekend also.

 What’s your greatest achievement?

Making my debut for the England Deaf Men’s Team as well as captaining the GB Deaf U21’s Team at the European Championships.

 How do you look after your well-being during the ongoing pandemic? Can you suggest any tips for others to try.

Just keeping active in all areas of life, whether that is exercise, doing sports, keeping in touch with family and friends, and setting goals daily to compete. One tip is to learn to like your own company.

What TV series are you currently watching?

I’m currently watching the Ozark, a little behind!

If you would like more information about #deafawarenessweek and how you can support the campaign, please click here.