by Chris Kaftan
In front of a full crowd at a special reception for his candidacy at the Park Hotel Moskva, Joel Barish made it clear tonight what his top priorities were if elected president of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf.
Barish shared with the attendees his vision for the presidency with an emphasis on improving the visibility of the organization through marketing, youth programs, training and professional development and planning for ICSD’s 100th anniversary in 2024.
“All of these priorities are intertwined together and create a cohesive plan for the future of ICSD,” said Barish after the reception. “These priorities I propose are set up in a way that allows ICSD to increase visibility and to strengthen the organization.”
Barish went on to explain that ICSD needed to enhance its youth programs and to train the future deaf and hard of hearing youth in areas of sport. “This will create jobs in different sectors for our youth — medical, coaching, athletics, and more,” said Barish.
“I even envision deaf chemists and biologists working for the WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency].”
Barish mentioned that ICSD needs to increase its marketing and appeal for funding to support its programs and federations. “We need to provide training for women and leadership in all federations,” explained Barish. “We also need to find grants for developing countries to improve their deaf sports programs.”
With the 100th anniversary of the first Silent Games for the Deaf coming in 2024, Barish feels this is a good opportunity for ICSD to increase its visibility and show the world how long the Deaflympics have been in existence. “We must use the 100th anniversary [in 2024] to improve how we use the brand of ‘ICSD’ in the international sporting community,” said Barish. “We only have 11 years before this happens, so we need to get moving.”
Barish is running against incumbent Craig A. Crowley of the United Kingdom and Dr. Valery Rukhledev from the Russian Federation. “I feel confident about my chances,” said Barish. “It will be a good campaign and I’m looking forward to seeing positive changes in ICSD.”