Deaf man makes the difference at Hawick RFC

Hawick RFC video analyst Adam Easton (left) with the club's head coach Phil Leck
Hawick RFC video analyst Adam Easton (left) with the club's head coach Phil Leck

A profoundly deaf sports fan has been praised as a key contributor to Hawick enjoying their most successful rugby campaign in 12 years.

Adam Easton, 22, from Selkirk, has been profoundly deaf since he suffered meningitis as a baby, but it’s his visual and technical skills that have proved a major asset to the Greens.

With the help of Action on Hearing Loss – a charity that helps deaf people – Adam was keen to work in a sporting environment.

Step forward Hawick RFC and their sponsorship convener, Dr Charlie Oliver, and David Gibbs who has a link to the club through Teviot Dental Practice.

Dr Oliver explained: “This started with David asking if we could offer Adam any form of work experience, even on a voluntary basis.

“Since then we’ve been able to broaden it out to a 26-week contract where Adam is working 16 hours per week and being paid to do it.”

In the early part of this season Adam started by helping to film games for the club with the material used for video analysis.

Hawick coach Phil Leck takes up the story: “Adam has proved a really quick learner.

“Not only has he been filming the games, but he’s been able to tag certain things, for example, scrums, line-outs, tackles and line breaks, while the game’s been in progress.

“The work that he’s done has opened up a massive amount of time for me and the other coaches at the club.

“We’ve finished sixth in the Premiership this season, our highest finish since 2002, and I firmly believe that Adam is as much a part of the reason for this as our other coaches, medics, physios, backroom staff and committee.

“He gets on well with the players and has really fitted in well at the club.”