PARTIALLY deaf Aamir Mitha has been hailed as an inspiration — after achieving a black belt in kickboxing.

The 11-year-old has had problems with his hearing since the age of two, when he was found to have severe to moderate hearing loss in both ears.

Aamir, who started kickboxing at the age of five at Morrison’s Black Belt School Academy in Falcon Mill, Halliwell, won his black belt in the academy’s junior category last month.

A week later, the youngster, who uses a combination of hearing aids and lip-reading to listen, competed for the academy against teams from Wigan and Liverpool, finishing in third out of all the contestants.

Canon Slade School pupil Aamir, of Eden Grove, Astley Bridge, said: “When I went for the grading I was quite nervous, as there was quite a big crowd there, but when I found out I’d become a black belt it felt amazing.

“Kickboxing makes me feel very positive about myself and my trainers at the academy have been great with me.

“I want to be world champion one day, that’s my dream.

“I hope that other deaf children who hear about my story will feel more confident in themselves and want to do the same.”

Aamir’s mother Salma Mitha, aged 32, said: “Aamir is an inspiration and I couldn’t be more proud of him — I’m just over the moon at what he’s achieved.

“He is an example to everyone that being deaf isn’t a weakness, it’s a source of strength.

“He really enjoys kickboxing and everyone at the club has been very supportive.”

Jason Morrison, head coach at the Morrison’s Black Belt School Academy, said: “If young Aamir believes in himself, he can go all the way. He’s become a champion of life.”