Duo extend welcome

NSW Blues volleyball team mates Matt Shannon and Matt Lloyd won silver at the National Deaf Beach Volleyball competition in Melbourne early in the month.
NSW Blues volleyball team mates Matt Shannon and Matt Lloyd won silver at the National Deaf Beach Volleyball competition in Melbourne early in the month.

Wagga volleyball players Matt Shannon and Matt Lloyd won silver for NSW at the National Deaf Beach Volleyball competition earlier in the month. Lloyd’s encouraging hard-of-hearing people interested in any sport to contact NSW Deaf Sports via Facebook and take part in the Australian Deaf Games in Albury Wodonga in January.

Lloyd and Shannon play together each week in Wagga, and Lloyd enjoyed his first national tournament.

In the grand final, they won the first set by five, lost the second set by 10 and lost the third set 15-13 in a tie-breaker.

They overcame significant communication barriers, as Shannon and Lloyd use different means of communication on a day-to-day basis.

“For us, it was very difficult, with Matt Shannon being profoundly deaf and sign language being his first language, and me not knowing sign language,” Lloyd said via email.

“But in most sports when plays are made and executed it’s all done with hand signals anyway.” 

It was a worthwhile experience.

“We made the effort to represent our state in a game we love,” Lloyd said.

“It was great to catch up with other players.”