Bundesliga Players Host Camp for Youth Suffering Hearing Loss
A group of Bundesliga players supported youth athletes with hearing loss as a five-day camp was held last week in Upper Bavaria. Hosted by hearing solutions company Phonak and Simon Ollert, the event provided attending youth with the opportunity to gain insight for developing their game as well as life skills.
Youth Soccer News: Making a difference – and showing everyone how the game of soccer unites people and can be enjoyed regardless of many physical challenges.
Phonak, a leading provider of life-changing hearing solutions, and Bundesliga youth team player Simon Ollert once again teamed up to invite youth players to Ettal in Upper Bavaria for a specialty soccer camp from June 14–18.
The camp aimed to help young soccer enthusiasts with hearing loss in their personal development. 20-year-old soccer player Ollert, who is under contract with FC Memmingen, has been deaf from birth and wears a special hearing aid when he plays.
The first camp, which took place last year, was a hit and attended by a number of aspiring youth athletes.
“My own story shows just what you can achieve despite hearing loss,” said Ollert.
“Ever since I can remember, I have dreamt of being a professional soccer player.”
“It’s wonderful that Phonak is helping me to turn this unique sporting event into a reality,” said Ollert. “It’s allowing us to motivate and encourage children and young people so they can follow their dreams in life with the same determination.”
Ollert is the only athlete with profound hearing loss playing professional soccer in any of the German-speaking countries.
This early summer event saw the 20-year-old training up to 45 children between the ages of 10 and 14 from Germany and other European countries. Attendance at the camp was organized in close cooperation with leading pediatric audiologists.
In addition, Bayern Munich defender Jérôme Boateng, Bayer Leverkusen center-back Jonathan Tah and Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Tobias Strobl developed video messages to support children with hearing loss who took park in the soccer camp.
Enthusiastic Feedback For Round One
Parents were extremely impressed by the warmth and commitment with which every child’s personality was acknowledged and their sporting skills incorporated. The unmistakable improvement in the team’s sporting proficiency over such a short period of time exceeded all expectations.
Team Spirit and Soccer Fever
In response to the overwhelming success of the last camp, the event extended from two-and-a-half days to a total of five, allowing everyone to devote even more time to promoting the personal and sporting growth of the young soccer fans – and even more children with hearing loss receiving the opportunity to attend the camp.
There was a similar focus on cultivating a sense of community in the action-packed supplementary schedule, which included outdoor activities and many other highlights. There was also an opportunity to quiz Ollert on his life as a professional soccer player.
Hearing Aid “Life Hacks” for Children
One of Phonak’s pediatric audiology experts was on hand throughout the event to give parents and children advice. She answered questions and passed on valuable “life hacks” for hearing aid handling in the context of school, sport and leisure.
Phonak has been developing hearing solutions for 70 years and has decades of experience in providing children with hearing instruments.
“Last year’s soccer camp for children with hearing loss was a complete success,” said Thomas Lang, Senior Vice President Phonak Marketing.
“We were delighted to be able to continue this successful scheme with Simon Ollert on an even larger scale, giving even more children a chance to take part in a unique event,” said Lang. “By pioneering such initiatives, Phonak can make an active contribution towards improving the quality of life of children with hearing loss.”