A SUNDERLAND council worker is swapping his high-vis for a set of golf clubs when he heads to Hawaii to represent his country in the World Deaf Golf Championships this week.
Aidan Douglas, whose day job is a Bridges and Structures technician at Sunderland City Council, is making his debut at the championships after attracting the attention of selectors when he finished as a runner up in an England Deaf Golf event last season.
Golf hasn’t always been Aidan’s passion. He started out as a promising young footballer, and at the age of 18, was attracting the attention of both professional clubs and England selectors when bacterial meningitis put an end to his footballing dreams in 2013.
Left deaf by his illness and in need of a cochlear implant to help him to hear, Aidan switched to golf and he has never looked back since.
Aidan said: “I’m looking forward to representing my country and making the most of the opportunity that I have been given, hopefully all the hours of practicing will eventually pay off and we can bring home some silverware.”
Councillor Kevin Johnston, Cabinet Member for Dynamic City at Sunderland City Council, said: “Aidan’s story is a real inspiration. To have overcome the challenge of losing his hearing and his footballing hopes in one fell swoop and then gone on to excel in a completely different sport is quite something. It shows enormous courage and determination and we’ll all be rooting for him to do well in Hawaii.”
The World Deaf Championships are taking place in Hawaii between Saturday 15 and 22 October.