Local young swim champ has Olympic dreams
HEARING loss hasn't stopped 15-year-old Taylar Briley from doing what she loves and now she has the medals to prove it.
Taylar scooped up five gold and two silver medals at the recent NSW State Combined High Schools Swimming Championships in Sydney, as well as the title of age champion.
Speaking during National Youth Week, which celebrates young achievers like Taylar, the Woolgoolga High School student said winning the seven medals was her biggest swimming success to date.
"Hearing loss has never held me back from doing anything in life," she said.
"In the future I aim to be a part of the Olympic team but before then I need to get to nationals."
As well as swimming four days a week, Taylar is part of her school's representative council and enjoys board paddling and surfing.
She is also a bronze medallion lifeguard at Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Club.
"I've never missed a patrol.
"I'm now training to become a crew person on the surf boat.
"I haven't saved anyone in the surf as yet but I did pull my sister out of a dam once."
Taylar says she's had to overcome the challenges of feeling left out of conversations and missing what was being said in class.
Taylar was recently assessed by Australian Hearing and received a new pair of hearing aids which help cut out distracting background noise for clearer sound.
"I rely on my hearing aids and the main sounds I love to hear are the ocean and I also enjoy listening to music," she said.
"If other kids are worried about their hearing they should definitely go and get it checked out.
"There is always the opportunity to get help so you can get more involved in life."