People say Asia is busy, and since returning home from competing in Taiwan at the World Deaf Basketball Championships, I can safely agree. The people on motor scooters, which outnumber the cars, constantly speed back and forth in the humid weather making it a sweltering experience just to walk to the nearest 7/11 shop to buy water. Nevertheless it was amazing to represent and help lead the Deaf Australian Basketball Team and finish 9th in the world. This improved our previous ranking of 13th in the world.
We completed the tournament with a 3-2 win loss record beating Poland, Japan and Taipei only falling to Greece and USA. Before the games even started it was heartbreaking to see a teammate and close friend go down with a catastrophic ankle injury in the 2nd last training session before the games commenced. It’s crazy for me to think that I only found out about deaf basketball six years ago and since then, I’ve been overseas three times, met my best mates, and have become the person that I am today.
I’ve just been upgraded from my Freedom® sound processor to the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 6 (CP910), and I am just getting used to all the changes and differences between the two sound processors. One massive change for me is no longer having to constantly source disposable batteries to power my implant as the new Nucleus 6 relies on rechargeable batteries that last 8 hours each (for me) and are easy to swap. A great move as I don’t want to think about the effect on the environment that all my flat disposable batteries have had. Also, the new device is more “sweat proof” than my last, but the real test will come in summer when the weather is humid. I can’t wait to get my hands on the Cochlear™ Wireless Accessories to use at work, when training and around the house. I am most keen for the Phone Clip that can be used to play music wirelessly via bluetooth. I have been waiting too long for the day when I can simply stream my music via my phone to my processor so that I can listen to some beats whilst training. Thanks to the Phone Clip, this is now possible!
Since getting back from Taiwan, I have been busy at work managing Melbourne’s Hear for You program, which mentors deaf and hard of hearing high school students. It has just wrapped up its final workshop for the oral program and about to commence its Auslan program (Australian Sign Language). At the same time I have just recently started two more part time jobs giving me a full time work schedule keeping me busy for the time being. Some may say that I am working too much at the moment, but the way I see it is if the work is for something that you are passionate about, it will be worth it. I’ll talk more about my two new jobs next time!
As for the National Deaf Basketball Team, “The Goannas”, we are now getting prepared for the Asia Pacific Deaf Games also being held in Taiwan from the 3rd-11th of October where we have our eyes firmly locked on the Gold medal.