Blind ski girl aims to ‘give back’ at con­cert

Bath Chronicle - - NEWS - Elise Brit­ten Re­porter elise.brit­[email protected]­plc.com

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

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