Jodie Ounsley, Patron of The Elizabeth Foundation for preschool deaf children
Jodie Ounsley

England Sevens Women’s rugby star Jodie Ounsley is ready to tackle a new challenge after becoming a Patron of The Elizabeth Foundation.

Ounsley, 19, the first deaf female rugby player to be selected for an international sevens squad, was born profoundly deaf, attended weekly sessions at The Elizabeth Foundation as a youngster before moving to a mainstream school aged four-and-a-half and is thrilled to have the chance to help the charity in any way she can.

“The Elizabeth Foundation has done so much for me and it was an easy decision to make when they asked if I’d like to get involved,” said Ounsley, who was an athletics and ju-jitsu champion before making her England Sevens debut in October last year.

“I’m completely deaf in both ears and wear a cochlear implant. I first went to The Elizabeth Foundation when I was three months old and they ‘kick-started’ my communication and speech.’

“Communication is a big thing, especially in rugby. I’m really passionate about not letting hearing hold you back and am delighted to have this chance to promote the charity in any way I can.”

Ounsley is one of the up-and-coming stars of the England Sevens Women’s team and hopes to be selected to represent Great Britain at the rearranged Olympics.

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