AN OSWESTRY girl has refused to let disability hinder her love of swimming.

Zoe Goode, seven, was born four months prematurely, weighing only 1lb 8oz.

She suffered a brain haemorrhage in the first few days after her birth, which left her cerebral palsy.

She also has learning difficulties and is moderately deaf, but none of her conditions have got in her way.

Zoe joined the Alpha Classes at Oswestry Leisure Centre in March 2017 with Karen Rogers, after previously struggling with swimming.

She has progressed through the lower stages – one, two and three – and just last month moved to stage four.

Zoe’s mother Sally said: “As her parents, my husband and I are just bursting with pride. She just keeps on smiling, persevering and achieving, showing her cerebral palsy and deafness exactly who’s the boss!"

Karen, known affectionately as 'Curly', has taught young swimmers for 34 years.

Sally said that her daughter made immediate progress after starting classes with Karen.

“Karen was able to spend time with Zoe in the smaller class size to build her confidence and to understand her physical limitations and communication issues due to her deafness," she added.

"We are so thankful that Zoe has the opportunity to have swimming lessons with the best swimming teacher ever, Karen ‘Curly’ Rogers at the fantastic swimming facility at Oswestry Leisure Centre. Curly is simply fantastic!”

Alison Wright, facilities manager at the centre, has known Sally for more than eight years, and has closely followed Zoe’s progress.

“We’re proud of all our swim teachers, but Curly exemplifies exactly the kind of dedication and empathy we expect from all our aquatics people," she said.

“Zoe’s progress has been nothing short of remarkable; she tries so hard and never gives up. She’s a great example to kids everywhere and a real credit to her proud mum and dad, Sally and John.

“Zoe’s younger brother, Leo, is also learning with Curly at Oswestry. He’s only four years old, but he’s already nearing completion of level three – a real pair of Shropshire swimming stars.”