Blind ski girl aims to ‘give back’ at concert
An inspirational Bath girl is defying the odds and becoming a promising alpine skier despite being blind since birth. Hester Poole has refused to let her condition hold her back and aims to one day compete in the Paralympics. The 11-year-old, a student at King Edward’s School in Bath, already trains with the Precise Racing VI team and is part of Bath University’s Future Athletes development programme. Alongside her sports performance, Hester works hard to maintain high academic standards and plans to go to university in the long run. But despite her young age, she is aware of the advantages she has had growing up in Bath. She points to the specialist assistance she receives from the Bristol Sensory Support service and her dedicated teachers and teaching assistants. Not all children with additional needs receive this care, which is why Hester is determined to give back. She has launched a fundraising campaign, hoping to raise thousands of pounds for blind children living in poverty in Ethiopia. Her campaign, which aims to raise £5,000 begins with a candlelit concert At Bathwick St Mary’s Church on Saturday, January 19. Alongside the Aquae Sulis Chorale Cathedral Choir, Hester will also be singing. She will then travel to Ethiopia in March with her ski coach Charlotte Evans to visit the Mekele School for the Blind, with donated specialist equipment. Hester said: “A good education is the only way a blind child can hope to access an independent adult life either financially or socially. “I have the ambition to go to university and lead a successful and independent life. This is also the ambition of the blind children of Mekele School. “I hope that by bringing specialist equipment and supporting this school in Ethiopia more blind children will be able to fulfil their hopes and dreams too.” If Hester manages to raise £5,000, Mekele School will receive £10,000. She said: “Donations up to £5,000 will be matched by a very kind donor.” Tickets are available for £15 on the door and include a welcome drink. All proceeds will go to the Mekele School for the Blind.
Bath school girl Hester Poole with ski coach Charlotte Evans MBE