For South Grafton High School student Tylar Barry, living with hearing loss hasn’t held him back from chasing his dreams of making it to the top in running.
After reaching the NSW State School Championships the last four years, and progressing to the national titles in 2015, Tylar struck gold at the Australian Deaf Games in Adelaide recently.
16-year-old Tylar joined around 1,000 deaf and hard of hearing competitors from across Australia and neighbouring Pacific nations, taking part in different sports over seven days of competition in January.
“I have never been to anything like the Deaf Games before and my whole family flew to Adelaide to support me,” said Tylar.
Tylar competed in the open 100m, 400m, 800m and long jump events and overcame any nerves to bring home four medals.
“I won gold for the 800m and 400m and silver for the 100m and long jump. I had done some training but I was still surprised by the result. It has inspired me to keep running.”
The Games provide athletes like Tylar the opportunity to compete against people with hearing loss on an equal and level playing field. Instead of relying on the standard starters gun to begin the race, Tylar said special coloured lights were used trackside to signal the competitors including green for go.
Since being first diagnosed with hearing loss at three years of age, Tylar has had the support of Australian Hearing’s specialised hearing to help him reach his full potential at school and beyond.
“Having hearing loss hasn’t held me back with anything really,” said Tylar. “I wear my hearing aids everywhere and I wouldn’t like to be without them.”
Outside of running, Tylar is keen to follow his goal of completing an electrical apprenticeship locally, but his immediate focus is counting down the days to go for his ‘P’s’ or provisional licence. Tylar will also set his sights on the next Australian Deaf Games to be held in 2018 in Albury/Wodonga.
The 2016 Australian Deaf Games was supported by Australian Hearing. For more information about the
Games visit www.austdeafgames.org.au.