Marc Valente is a passionate man. Spending time with him quickly reveals his two loves – family and football.
In early July, Marc received his first cochlear implant at Westmead Hospital from surgeon Associate Professor Melville da Cruz.
The decision wasn’t made lightly – “I considered getting one [a cochlear implant] when I was 15 or 16 [years old] but at the time I wasn’t ready”. Now, at 33 years old, the father of three (twins Hannah and James, 2; and Ryan, 3 months) knew it was the right time.
“My partner [Corinne] and I had discussed if for a while and agreed it was the best decision for our family” he says.
When asked about the motivations for getting the implant unsurprisingly Marc mentions his family but also his desire to hear the radio and use a phone. I want to be able to hear the kids and better communicate with them” Marc says.
In terms of achieving positive outcomes, Marc says “I know it takes time, I am committed to wearing it [the processor] as much as possible and doing all I can”.
“Corinne has always supported me and I appreciate her greatly”, he says. Their union has marriage on the horizon but for the Schofields couple building their home, and raising their three kids, has come first.
His other love, football, plays a big role in his life. Locally, Marc plays in the Blacktown & Districts Football Association for his local team Riverstone Schofields. He is quick to share his team finished as Champions for 2019.
Marc’s efforts were rewarded with selection in the Deaf Football Australia (DFA) team to tour Hong Kong at the upcoming Asia Pacific Deaf Games. Marc is extremely proud to represent his country and excited for the opportunity.
Although his age, in footballing terms, makes him one of the senior members of the squad he’s hoping to use that experience to help the team succeed.
“We have a great coach and have seen strong development in the last few years” Marc says. He also mentions the camaraderie and togetherness of the squad is as strong as ever. One challenge that the players face is that the tour is self-funded.
Marc is the only current squad member to have represented Australia at the 2008 World Cup in Greece, a tour that ended with consecutive defeats to Turkey, Russia and Thailand with no goals scored and 24 conceded. That experience is driving Marc to succeed this time around, “Although it was a great experience, the results were not, and I’m committed to doing better in Hong Kong”. The competition starts on November 1.
If Marc’s attitude is anything to go by, success in Hong Kong seems inevitable.