World deaf golf champion Jack Besley tees off. Photo: Amanda Kelly
Federal politicians from all sides took to the fairways of Federal Golf Club in Canberra on Monday as a joint experience for Hearing Awareness Week with Friends of the Australian Golf Industry Council.
The guests of honour were World Number 1 deaf golfer Jack Besley from Victoria, together with Australian team members Jack McLeod and Linda Davis.
The day saw a number of politicians don earplugs to experience what it’s like playing golf with little or no hearing.
Golf Australia CEO and AGIC Chairman Stephen Pitt said it was an important day to highlight hearing awareness week and discuss key objectives with government representatives.
“Golf has an impact on so many areas of Australian life and more than most people might think at first,” Pitt said.
“On behalf of the AGIC, we’re all here to advocate the relationship and importance of golf and health, tourism, business and the other areas the sport interacts with everyday life in Australia. It was great to have Jack, Jack and Linda to demonstrate the positive impact golf has had on their lives.”
The Australian Deaf Golf Team recently attended the 2014 World Deaf Golf Championships in July, at Grand Traverse Resort, in Traverse City, Michigan and came away proud of its efforts.
The Australian team had many good results at these championships, most notably Jack Besley, from Southern Golf Club (Victoria), winning the Men’s Individual Championship at his third attempt, with a brilliant final round of 68.
One in six Australians has some degree of hearing loss.
· Children with hearing loss can have trouble developing their language skills and getting a good education.
· Adults with hearing loss find it harder to stay in the workforce as long as other members of the community. The need to buy new hearing aids every few years is a crippling cost to them.
· Mature people have a high incidence of hearing loss and this restricts them in being part of normal community life.
The total annual cost of hearing loss to the nation is the equivalent of building a second Sydney airport every 18 months.
Hearing loss is so prevalent in the community, yet has a low level of awareness and understanding.
Hearing Awareness Week throughout Australia aims to highlight the importance of hearing health and the dangers of loud noise.