Deaf footballer from Wellingborough honoured by Prime Minister

Claire Stancliffe after scoring at the Deaflympics.
Claire Stancliffe after scoring at the Deaflympics.

A deaf football star from Wellingborough has been recognised the Prime Minister for her voluntary work.

Today (Tuesday) Claire Stancliffe, who has represented her country around the world, has been announced as the 1,135th winner of the Points of Light award which recognises outstanding volunteers.

Claire Stancliffe of Wellingborough NNL-160308-135752001

Claire Stancliffe of Wellingborough NNL-160308-135752001

Claire successfully led a campaign to raise more than £100,000 to take both the men’s and women’s teams to the 2017 Deaflympics.

She has been involved in deaf sports since 2007 and visits local schools to encourage young children to engage in sport.

She has competed in international competitions for a decade and has won medals at Deaf World Championships in 2008 and 2016, the Deaf European Championships in 2011 and at the Deaflympics in 2013.

As the team receives no official funding, Claire took it upon herself to raise the necessary money through online auctions, fundraising events and writing to companies to offer in-kind donations.

She suffered a major knee injury in 2017 but continues to inspire people through her social media channels, sharing videos of her recovery and rehabilitation with her online following alongside posts about in which she teaches sign language.

The Corby Town Ladies player said: “It’s a huge honour to be recognised by the Prime Minister for a Points of Light award.

“Deaf football has played a huge part in my life and given me many difficult challenges but also many fantastic life experiences.

“It has been very rewarding to play a part and see deaf football grow over the last decade.

“I have been incredibly lucky to have a large amount of support by the public especially after my injury.

“I believe that everybody has the ability to inspire others in some way and hope that what I do at least helps someone in some way.

“I will continue to fight for recognition for DeaflympicsGB in the hope that athletes can concentrate on their preparations.”

Each day someone in the country is selected to receive the Points of Light award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

Previous winners in the north of the county include Wellingborough’s Glennis Hooper, who set up the Crazy Hats charity, and more recently Kettering litter hero Nick Urquhart.

In a letter to Claire, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “You should feel incredibly proud of how your fundraising has enabled deaf football teams to take part in international competitions.

“I wish you well as you continue to inspire young deaf people and share your passion for sport.”