Sixteen year old Maxwell Muscat applied to Deaf Children Australia’s Youth Grants to help fund his dream of attending the twelve day West Ham United Oceania Academy UK Tour in December 2014. We were happy to be able to contribute.
Max wrote, “My dream since I was a little boy has been to play and train in England. I want to promote that hearing deficient people can make it to the highest level, as well as have the opportunity to train and play with high standard coaches and team. Maybe I will have the opportunity to be seen by a club in the UK down the track!
I wanted to gain new skills and confidence. We did a tour of London and watched West Ham United beat Swansea City. We toured Wolverhampton Wolves and Wembley Stadiums, as well as going to Bisham Abbey and playing there. We had a training session at Strachan Football Foundation with George Mackie who is an Arsenal Scout and coach with Scotland, and one at West Ham Academy with their coaches. I learnt heaps of new skills, made friends in another country, met new coaches and developed as a player.
I feel like I don’t have a disability when I’m on the field playing the sport I love. To compete at this level would be a dream come true. I have to say it was an experience of a lifetime and would like to thank my Dad, West Ham United Oceania Academy and Deaf Children Australia for giving me the opportunity.”
Max’s dad Paul added:
“Max was diagnosed at about 9 months with severe to profound hearing loss in his left ear and moderate to severe in his right. Max has since then lived with aids. Max went to a hearing school for his first year of schooling but then moved into mainstream schooling. Max has always excelled in sports, has competed at state level in athletics and run in the Marion 100 which is a 100 km run. Max has competed in a number of sports from football to cricket and even golf. We feel that his hand eye coordination has made up for his hearing loss, which is apparently common in hearing impaired kids.
Max has played at club level since he was about six years old. He started his trek with Westham United which has seen him try out at state level then at national level on the Gold Coast and eventually the UK trip that he has just gone on.
Max was looked at whilst on his trip and had some people take his name. As you can imagine, it’s very hard to break in at this level. But in the meantime Max has been selected to play in the NPL this year for North Geelong. This is a high standard – basically one step away from the A league.
I’m proud of Max. He has never used his hearing as an excuse. He often tells me that when he is on the field he has no disability as no one can hear due to the crowd.
Can I take this opportunity to thank you and your organisation for the support you have given Max and myself?”