Despite many children’s dreams, it isn’t everyday that a newfound football star is discovered. It is even more rare that a professional football player would experience hearing loss!
That being said, an 18-year-old German footballer named Simon Ollert is currently breaking down barriers as he rises through the ranks of football teams.
Simon, like many young men and women, has had a dream to become a professional footballer since he was a child – but there are two key differences about Simon that make him stand out from most: he had the drive and motivation to relentlessly pursue his dream and he experiences hearing loss.
At the age of 18, Simon has pursued his dream and currently plays in the youth squad at FC Ingolstadt, where he has played since the summer of 2015.
A short film, titled ‘Life without Limitations’, was recently produced by Sonova about Simon’s life, which won a gold award at the International Commercial Film Festival. You can watch the video here.
Simon found out that he had profound hearing loss in both ears when he was 2 years old. His parents decided to treat his hearing impairment with hearing aids and, to their delighted surprise, Simon absolutely loved them! His father explained to Audiology Worldnews that ‘he never wanted to take them off; they were his favourite thing’.
Simon himself was quoted as saying, ‘My story just shows what you can achieve despite hearing loss. I have a great life and I don’t feel restricted in the slightest… If you really want something, you’ll get it.’
His Phonak hearing devices allow Simon to communicate with other players on the pitch and hear the coaches’ instructions. An adviser claims that his hearing loss makes him a very intelligent player, as he tends to notice and see more. That is of course very important in terms of strategy and getting into the zone!
If you, or your loved one, plays a sport or wants to get involved, it may be useful to have a few tips about how to maintain your hearing instruments, especially if your sport is a particularly sweaty one!
If you are particularly sporty, be sure to share this information with your hearing professional. Modern technology means that most hearing aids are now designed to be dust and water resistant, but some are specifically designed with an active lifestyle in mind, such as the Phonak Sky V, suitable for infants to teenagers with mild to profound hearing loss.
Even if your hearing aids are water-resistant, it’s still a good idea to use a dehumidifier when you are sleeping. If you don’t already have one, they are easy to locate, are generally pretty affordable and incredibly easy to use. Ask us for more information regarding dehumidifying device.
It’s also worthwhile to wear a headband when you play sports or exercise generally. This helps to keep sweat out of your eyes and ears!
Many companies produce clips to ensure your hearing devices stay in place whilst you are playing sport. These may be especially important if you play a contact sport that runs the risk of dislodging your hearing instrument. For more information on compatible hearing aid clips, contact us at House of Hearing.
If you want to talk to someone about getting more involved in sports, or getting your child excited about an active lifestyle, contact one of our hearing instrument specialists today.
House of Hearing offers hearing care at four centres in Edinburgh, Galashiels, Perth, and St Andrews. Call us on 0131 220 1220 for more information.