How The Verbit Company is Keeping a Women’s Deaf Futsal Team’s Dream Alive 

Israel Women's Futsal Team

The Verbit Company, which Take Note is a part of, was inspired to support this year’s European Deaf Futsal Championship. As an organization committed to inclusion, this league is very in line with our mission of providing equity to all individuals. The incredible teams participating are made up of athletes who are deaf or hard of hearing, and who will be able to showcase their talents on an international stage.

Our company is making a mark by donating a substantial amount to Israel Women’s Deaf Futsal Team, which previously lacked the funds needed to attend and play in the tournament.As the Verbit Company, is headquartered in Israel, stepping in to support this team was a unanimous decision.

Take Note is absolutely delighted to share that Verbit’s leadership has swooped in to financially assist the team made up of 11 players who are Deaf or hard of hearing. The substantial donation allowed the team to cover plane tickets, equipment, accommodation, and other expenses related to competing in the championship. Now, the whole team can put all their training and dedication into practice and demonstrate what they can do on the pitch in the 6th European Deaf Futsal Championship. 

“The donation you made sent the players sky high,” said player Elizaveta Blinov. “Thank you for your help, for trusting us, and, most importantly, for empowering women.” 

Futsal practice

Photo credit: Alma Machnes

Supporting a cause in line with our company mission 

The Verbit Company’s CEO and Founder, Tom Livne, who is Israeli, heard about the team’s predicament he jumped into action to see what support could be provided.  

“One of our core company values is ‘Win Together.’ We are honored to provide the backing and support needed by such an inspiring team of athletes to showcase what is possible on an international stage,” said Livne. “We are excited to watch this team show the world that no disability nor barrier should stand in the way of one’s ability to ‘win’ and demonstrate their talents.” 

Nofer Saban

Photo credit: Ruan Saraur

 

With the financial concerns out of the way, the team are obviously delighted to be heading to Italy to compete.

“There are not enough words to thank you for your significant help,” said player Nofer Saban. “It completely changes the picture and gives us a great possibility to achieve our goal.”

 

 

Shlomit Twizer

Photo credit: Ruan Saraur

Futsal player Shlomit Twizer said she and the team could “fulfill our dream.” For Twizer, the competition is an opportunity to build a legacy for the future. “Our vision is that there will be continuity of the younger generation.”    

The Verbit Company – inclusive of Verbit, Take Note, VITAC, Take 1, AST, and US Captioning – shares that sentiment and will continue to promote a more inclusive, equitable world for future generations.   

Some background on the growing sport of Futsal 

Futsal is a FIFA-recognised form of five-a-side football which is played indoors, taking its name from the Spanish ‘futbol sala’. Its fast pace and required levels of skill mean that although it’s a professional sport in its own right, it’s also seen as a great stepping stone for the 11-a-side game. The futsal pitch and ball are both smaller than in football and rolling substitutes are also used.  

Futsal originated in Uruguay in the 1930s before spreading throughout South America. In 1989, the first futsal World Cup was held in the Netherlands where Brazil were crowned champions – it seems it’s not that different to football! The sport has continued to gain in popularity ever since.  

The 6th European Deaf Futsal Championship features both men’s and women’s teams where the players are deaf or hard of hearing. The competition is accessible while retaining all the excitement and skill of the game.  

Championing accessibility 

Futsal Players Using Sign Language

Photo credit: Alma Machnes

The Israel Women’s National Futsal team is comprised of 11 players who are deaf or hard of hearing and play as part of the Israel Deaf Sports Organisation (IDSO). The players communicate with each other during games through sign language and speak with their coach via a sign language interpreter. The games are played in an accessible environment and referees who are deaf also feature. Rather than whistles which are typically blown to signal stoppages, flags and flashing lights are used instead. 

“It’s fun to play in an environment that understands how to make it accessible to us,” said player Nofer Saban. 

For the players and everyone involved in the sport though it goes further than just being able to play a game they love.

Elizaveta Blinov

Photo credit: Ruan Saraur

“The deaf community is a family, a loving and warm host. The community always supports us,” said Elizaveta Blinov, a member of the team.   

Accessibility is key to the team, the IDSO and the championship which aligns with the Verbit company’s mission of championing accessibility and inclusion. For Take Note and all the Verbit Company, the donation is just one example of the company’s commitment to improving accessibility and equity for individuals with disabilities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

Although the Verbit companies are most known for aiding accessibility through their transcription, notetaking, and captioning products and services, the team are encouraged to embrace opportunities to support initiatives more locally too. 

In recent months, Verbit and its companies have been giving back to their local communities by volunteering at food banks and animal shelters, delivering groceries to those in need, and partnering with Accessibility.com to highlight the necessity for inclusion. 

Now, it’s up to the team to show us what they can do. We’ll all be cheering them on. Catch all the action of the 6th European Deaf Futsal Championship from October 13-22. Israel is up against Ireland in their first match on October 13th, with England, where Take Note is based, taking on the Netherlands on October 15th. 

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Kat Hounsell