Talented sportsman and musician Charlie Denton (14) is riding high having had a fantastic tennis year. He has been crowned National Junior GB Deaf Tennis Singles Champion as well as the Boy Player of the Year and the Young Person of the Year at the Gloucestershire LTA awards.

Charlie’s Mum Emma said: “Charlie’s love of tennis started aged five when a local tennis coach paid a visit to his primary school and spotted his potential. He started lessons and was determined to get his name on the honours’ board at the club and managed to do it for the first time aged nine, winning the Under 11’s.

 “Around the same time he attended a Deaf Tennis Day at the National Tennis Centre in London and was in awe of playing on the same courts that Andy Murray played on. He started training with the county and his love for the sport increased even further when he went to watch the Davis Cup team competing in Glasgow and was presented with a t-shirt signed by the entire team, including the Murray brothers.

 “This past year has been fantastic for Charlie. As well as his awards, he is working towards his first coaching qualification and is volunteering at the tennis club as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. In his spare time he loves reading tennis autobiographies and he has just been asked to be on the LTA Disability Development Focus Group, taking part in his first meeting over Zoom. 

Charlie said: “Before going to Auditory Verbal UK, Mum said that I didn’t really have any speech and that I used to hide under the table rather than have to try and learn new words. But at AVUK they teach you how to make the most of your hearing always encourage you to believe you can achieve more and never give up. I am determined to make it into the Senior GB Deaf Tennis Team and I would love to go to Loughborough University so I can combine studying and tennis.”

Proud Mum Emma added: “Our sessions at AVUK seem a long time ago now but we know that not only did they give us the skills to help him learn to listen and talk, they never saw his deafness as a barrier. AVUK really do encourage you to reach for the stars and we are so proud that Charlie is doing that every day.”