Wagga’s Matthew Shannon and Matthew Lloyd have been deaf since birth but it hasn’t stopped them from dominating the volleyball world.
Both have had their equal share of challenges in taking on the sport but they have a clear message of advice for deaf children across the Riverina.
“My advice would be to be a part of the deaf games,” Mr Shannon said.
Both Mr Shannon and Mr Lloyd are currently participating in the Australian Deaf Games at Albury.
“I think doing research with Facebook and getting their parents to help them get out there and get involved with sports," Mr Lloyd said.
“It would be nice for more people to be in the sporting deaf community, there’s not much information or anything about the games for the deaf in Wagga.”
Mr Lloyd said he felt proud to be participating in his second deaf games, having first got involved in Adelaide.
“I was born deaf but I found out when I was about two and a half years old,” he said.
“I was playing in school but I started playing beach volleyball about two years ago.”
The pair now both play in the Wagga volleyball competition.
“I read a story about a volleyball player in the ACT newspaper and thought oh wow maybe I could give it a go – maybe I could do beach volleyball,” Mr Shannon said.
“I knew I needed to develop my skills, particularly in how to hit the ball and respond to when the ball comes onto my side.”
Mr Shannon started playing volleyball about 12 years ago and has been participating in the Australian Deaf Games for several years.
The games finish up on January 27.