OLIVER Dunn usually only takes his cochlear implant out at night but that will change in the next few weeks.
It’s all in the name of preparation for the Warrnambool Lawn Tennis Club member, who will contest the 2012 Australian Deaf Games in Geelong.
The 16-year-old has been profoundly deaf since he was two due to meningitis and since then, he has worn a cochlear implant.
But as a participant of the deaf games, he is required to play without it, which means he will be doing just that in the lead-up to the event.
“I played without it on Saturday and I played pretty well,” he said.
“I’ll have to practice without it more.”
Oliver, who cannot hear anything without his implant, was excited about making his debut at the Australian Deaf Games, which will be held from January 14 to 21.
“I want to get some experience and I want to know how others play and how good they are,” he said. “It will be good to have a go.”
With the games being his maiden major deaf event, he will use them to weigh up whether to compete in more Deaf Sports Australia (DSA) events in the future.
DSA has kept an eye on Oliver’s progress since making contact with him about three years ago.
A promising performance at a points tournament in Bairnsdale has potentially led to him being selected to represent Victoria at the games.
Oliver is coached by Warrnambool’s Matt Moloney and has played pennant since he was 10.
His tennis schedule includes junior and senior competitions locally.
The Australian Deaf Games are the pinnacle of deaf sporting events in Australia, welcoming more than 15 sports ranging from beach volleyball to touch football.
The 2012 games mark the first time in 29 years the event has been held in Victoria, while Geelong is taking on hosting duties for the first time.
The event is held every four years.