Panathlon has provided 28 deaf students in Hertfordshire with their first ever tennis lessons in recent weeks.

Working with the Ovingdean Hall Foundation, Panathlon delivered three tennis sessions to the students from Heathlands School in St Albans.

Both primary and secondary students had the opportunity to learn the basic rules and techniques of tennis over the three-week course. Many of them showed exceptional raw talent and progressed hugely, suggesting they may be ready for some competitive matches in 2015.

Heathlands School has been the first to benefit from in-school tennis sessions, with Panathlon delivering at a further five deaf schools across London over the next year.

Teacher Lesley Reeves Costi said: “We really appreciate Panathlon coming to Heathlands School and giving our children this opportunity. This is the first time we have had tennis lessons at the school and it has been excellent to see so many of the students taking to it.

“In the first week, many of the boys wanted to use the astroturf to play football instead, but this last week has seen everyone taking part in tennis out of choice. It’s great that it has opened them up to new sporting opportunities.”