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Southampton runner selected as award finalist after winning a bronze medal
A HAMPSHIRE woman who has suffered from deteriorating hearing loss since she was 11, has triumphed to bring home a medal for Britain.
And now Southampton runner Melanie Jewett’s inspirational story has been recognised.
The 41-year-old’s sporting achievements in the deaf community has seen her selected as one of the ten regional finalists in the Specsavers Sound Barrier Star Awards.
This is a UK-wide competition to find people who have triumphed despite their hearing difficulties.
Melanie, who suffers from profound hearing loss, recently represented Britain in the Deaflympics and succeeded in taking home a bronze medal. She competed in the marathon at the event in Bulgaria in late July, taking the first medal for Team GB but also smashing the British record by ten minutes.
A passionate runner, Melanie has taken part in 58 marathons in the past decade.
Melanie started losing her hearing when she was 11, but managed at school by teaching herself to lip read. However, five years ago her hearing health rapidly deteriorated and she was told she needed to be fitted with a cochlear implant – a surgically implanted electronic device to improve her hearing. Melanie said when her hearing disappeared five years ago it changed her life.
But it was purely by accident that she found out about the Deaflympics online.
“Since that moment I trained every day and wanted to prove that no matter who you are and what your personal situation is, you can achieve anything when you put your mind to it,” she said.
‘I am absolutely delighted to have won this award and hope it will help to highlight the fact that people with profound hearing loss are still able to take part in sports and compete professionally.”
She is supported by her husband of 17 years, Mike.
The ten regional finalists from across the UK will be whittled down to five who will go through to the national final in October. The winner’s grand prize will be a week-long villa holiday for two people in the Mediterranean and a £1,500 hearcare or £500 optic voucher from Specsavers.
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