Meet David Brady, who will be representing Australia at the 2019 Asia Pacific Deaf Games in Hong Kong in November and trains with us to prepare himself as best as possible.
HI DAVID, THANKS FOR CHATTING WITH US!
How long have you been playing beach volleyball for?
What made you start playing Beach volleyball?
I was looking for a sport that is fun, low impact on the body, and for fitness
What other sports have you played?
Water polo, Rugby, Hockey, Swimming, Tennis….pretty much tried almost everything.
We know you’re off to compete soon, can you tell us about the event?
I will be representing Australia at the 2019 Asia Pacific Deaf Games in Hong Kong in November. It was a surprise to be selected and a great honour to be representing my country in an international event, this time for me in a “land sport” as I played for Australia in Water polo when younger.
I qualify because I have a severe hearing loss in both ears, meaning I wear hearing aids to allow me to hear sounds. As the hearing aids are sensitive to sweat and sand, I have to take them off and put them away while I train and play. At that point I hear absolutely nothing, and rely on lip reading and following the coaches or other players to learn more about the game.
The event itself will see over 4,000 deaf and hearing impaired athletes from around Asia and Oceania, Beach Volleyball is one of 12 sports and each country can enter two teams (Australia has two teams). The rules are the same however there is one difference, all players are NOT allowed to wear their hearing devices or they will be disqualified. This enables a level playing field for all athletes to compete. How we communicate, we use sign language, and when signing tactics with your team mate, you have to make sure your back is turned away from your opponents as eyes see further than sound.
Who will you be competing against?
Countries from around Asia. The main teams are Japan, China PR, Iran, and South Korea.
Who are you playing with?
My teammate Matt is based in Wagga Wagga, NSW, he is deaf and played indoors and beach volleyball most of his life. I was born and raised in country NSW in Armidale about a 9 hour drive north west inland from the Manly sands.
How is the training going? And how are you preparing for the event?
The training is going well, at the moment I am building on my base fitness and working the basic skills to do well. Both Matt and I are focused on making sure we cover all good basics so when we train together from time to time we can work on the tactics.
What do you enjoy most about the Beach Volleyball training sessions at Manly Beach? And how have these helped develop your volleyball level?
The most enjoyable thing about Beach Volleyball training sessions is the Coaches generosity of their time and professionalism. You can see from upfront they care deeply about the sport and love sharing their passion with everyone. From there they make every training sessions, including the 6am ones, for everyone fun, engaging and social.
It is a challenge participating in training when you can’t hear, and sometimes you sense frustration from others (who I forget to tell I am deaf…or even when I do I am speaking so it’s a case of “how come you can talk normally but can’t hear at the same time?”). Just have to remind myself to tell others and “the coaches” that I can’t hear them but will follow or lip read.
No doubt, my volleyball level as been getting better over the past few years, it was not long ago when I watched a game from above the courts that I thought I would never see myself playing Beach Volleyball.
You also teamed up with Coach David and played in the NBVA Social League in 2018. How did that go? And what did you enjoy about the Social League?
What can I say, it was a really fun experience. Coach David and I had to work out a few communications issues, for a start I could not hear him. So calling out “mine” or “spike Dave” to me was not going to work. Naturally there were times when we did not know who was going after the ball and it was either run into each other or just stand there and watch the ball land near our feet. Eventually we worked out a system, that being “just make sure you serve the ball over the net” then we will work it out. We avoided the trap of Coach David ‘coaching’ simply by having basic chats when I have my hearing aids on before and after the game about what can we improve on next game. By the end we sorted out our match plan and I ended up spiking like royalty on the back of great precision sets from David.
Loved the social league, it is the best way to apply all the skills the coaches provided you, play with awesome people from all over the world, while getting fit and healthy.
What are your long term volleyball goals?
My goal is to get on the court and play all matches well in Hong Kong, wearing the green and gold, on the back of great core fitness, skills, and armed with some of the dark arts of winning Beach Volleyball games.