Canadian basketball sensation Tamara Tatham has faced some big battles on the court.
Born in Brampton Ontario and a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Tatham has represented Canada at the London Olympics and in Toronto at the Pan Am Games in 2015, where she helped Canada win a gold medal. She also represented Canada at the Rio Olympics this year.
It goes without saying Tatham is no stranger to setting goals and facing challenges, but when she began noticing problems with her hearing she knew she was in for a very different challenge. Tatham needed answers and assistance, and she found both from audiologist Joan Steinsky at the Don Mills Connect Hearing clinic in Toronto.
We caught up with Tatham to discuss basketball, hearing tests and the Phonak Lyric hearing aid.
Connect Hearing: Congratulations on your success!
Tamara Tatham: Thank you!
Connect Hearing: You’ve been to the London and Rio Olympics and of course the Pan Am Games in Toronto. What was it like to play for your country in your country?
Tatham: Oh, that was very cool! I was at home in front of my family and close friends. It was an unbelievable experience for me to perform at that level. Also, it was my first gold medal ever in my life, (laughing) so it was good, it was good.
Connect Hearing: Awesome! You have a lot of history with basketball. What does basketball mean to you? Why do you love the game so much?
Tatham: It means a lot. I started playing the sport because of my brother Patrick. I looked up to him in a lot of ways and I simply loved playing basketball. That’s why I make all these sacrifices. I love t he sport, but I also get to play for Canada, it’s awesome.
Connect Hearing: Can you talk about what brought you to Connect Hearing? Were you dealing with hearing issues for a long time?
Tatham: Well, I really didn’t notice my hearing issues right away. I began to notice something around four years ago. I lived most of my life without hearing issues of any kind. So for me this was something that’s pretty new, pretty fresh.
I’m not a doctor, and I’m not going to explain this as well as it was explained it to me, but in a nutshell I was noticing a problem and I knew that I needed help with my hearing.
Connect Hearing: And you were able to get that help from Connect Hearing?
Tatham: Yes! The fact they were able to provide support and help me out, it helped me on the basketball court and it helped me with so many other things.
Connect Hearing: And Connect Hearing supplied you with the Lyric hearing aid by Phonak. How have Lyric hearing aids worked for you?”
Tatham: Yes, the Lyric is cool. It’s really, really cool. It’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced. It’s awesome! I don’t have to ask people to repeat themselves or focus so hard to keep up with things that are happening on or off the basketball court.
Connect Hearing: That's wonderful. And now for some big news - you’re heading to Russia! You're going to be playing with Dynamo GUVD Novosibirsk in the Euro Cup and the Russian Women’s Premier Basketball League.
Tatham: Yes, I’m heading there for the first time in my life to play professional basketball. I’ve never been to Russia, so I’m excited.
Connect Hearing: Well, we at Connect Hearing are wishing you the best of luck.
Connect Hearing: Tamara, what’s your advice for people who may be dealing with hearing loss or related issues? Because for many people, making the decision to go for a test can be a daunting choice.
Tatham: My advice is don’t worry or be afraid. For me, wearing the Lyric is just like wearing glasses, it’s like having an eye problem. It’s normal. You don’t have to be afraid to go to Connect Hearing for a hearing test. I really enjoyed working with Joan Steinsky in the Connect Hearing clinic in Toronto. They are so cool, I really love them.
Connect Hearing: Thanks Tamara! It was a pleasure speaking with you and we wish you tons of success in your professional career.
Tatham: Thank you!
Here is a great video featuring Tamara and her basketball success.