An inspirational boy from Chalfont St Peter who was diagnosed as deaf at aged three has not allowed his disability to restrict his love of sports.

11-year-old Zachary was given cochlear implants at the age of eight in a bid to aid his speech perception, hearing and quality of life.

Playing sport did however prove difficult initially as sports club which Zach wanted to join would not make the modifications needed for him to play safely, his mother Kirsty has claimed.

Kirsty said: “For example, Zach was turned away by local swimming pools because they were worried about him not being able to hear the emergency whistle. So, in the end we had to travel 25 minutes to a pool that were prepared to teach him, but it wasn’t what he was passionate about.

“We decided to try something else and went along to a deaf tennis day run by local audiologists Aston Hearing but were unsure whether Zach would be interested. We ended up staying the whole four hours as he loved it!. The tennis coach was experienced in instructing deaf adults and children and so we didn’t have to explain anything to him.

“Aston Hearing stepped in to sponsor Zach to receive club membership at Chesham Bois Lawn Tennis and Squash Club as well as paid for his weekly tennis lessons and additionally offered some ideas around how to enable Zach to play tennis.”

Zach now plays tennis with his coach wearing a mini microphone allowing Zach to always hear what his instructions are.

Zach said: “Learning to play tennis has been incredible. When you are deaf it’s hard because you just want to be like everyone else, but tennis makes me feel much more confident and I have made some good friends. I like to play doubles because when I miss the ball there’s someone else to hit it!”

Peter Lavery, Zach’s tennis coach, said: “Zach enjoys playing tennis with other children and his ability to play tennis has improved a lot. He’s recently mastered overarm serving and is getting more accurate with placing his shots. He is a great kid.”