Thursday 10 August 2023, 06:00

Football made me feel part of a team

  • Anjelica Williams plays for Marconi Stallions and the Australian Deaf National Team

  • Williams and her teammates challenged local players to a game with earplugs

  • This immersive experience allowed players to play football form a different perspective

Australia deaf football star, Anjelica Williams, was the catalyst for an immersive experience for several young players at the FIFA Women’s World Cup™. Williams, who plays for Marconi Stallions in FNSW League One as well as the national deaf team, was diagnosed with severe hearing loss when she was only a few weeks old. While struggling with hearing loss at a younger age, Williams has embraced it as part of who she is with football playing a major part: leading her to playing in one of Australia’s most challenging toughest leagues, with teammates and opponents who are not hearing impaired.

“I used to cry to my mum that I had hearing aids and that I was different, but football was a really good to way for me to feel part of a team, feel just like the other kids.” The 23-year-old is now a cochlear implant engineer and used the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ to educate some young players on what it’s like to play with hearing loss. At the FIFA Fan Festival in Sydney, Williams and some of her teammates from the Australian Deaf National Team challenged local football players to a unique game of football: playing with earplugs. This allowed players to experience football from a new perspective and challenged them to discover new ways to communicate with teammates. Following the games, Williams and her teammate Crystal were able to enjoy a FIFA Women’s World Cup™ match in her home city of Sydney, watching France v Jamaica at the Sydney Football Stadium. Inspired, Williams revealed that she too dreams of playing on the world stage at the Deaf World Cup.