Since taking up skiing just three years ago, The Paragon School’s Year 5 pupil Hester has really found a talent for it and is looking to fundraise to help her reach the next level.
As everyone that comes into contact with Hester knows, she does not let her severe visual impairment hold her back and instead relishes the challenge of matching and often exceeding her sighted classmates.
Hester is a member of the ‘Outspan Rebels’ visually impaired ski team and is coached by Olympic Gold medallist Charlotte Evans (pictured with Hester). Hester’s aim is to join the pathway to the Paralympic ski team when she is old enough. Before then, however, she needs to continue training with Outspan Rebels and this requires funding for her and the team. Her next training camp is taking place in Austria in October. Hester not only needs to fund herself, but also her sighted guided who guides her down the slopes communicating using radio speaker headsets.
Hester has set herself the challenge of attempting an A-Z of sports with the goal of 100 activities (both adaptive and mainstream) in 100 days between May and September 2017. She also hopes to gain sponsorship for this attempt, with the Paragon School and teaching community are right behind her!
Fortunately for Hester, members of The Paragon’s sporting parents and teachers, and The Paragon’s senior school, Prior Park College’s, teaching staff will be able to help her attempt some of her activities. Hester will try athletics with former Olympic Champion, Jason Gardener MBE; dancing with The Paragon’s dance teacher, Rachael Arnold; fencing with GB’s modern pentathlete, Kate French; hockey with Prior Park College hockey coach and Irish international hockey player, John Jackson; horse-riding with modern pentathlete Olympic medallist, Kate Allenby MBE; rugby with ex-England and Lions international, Lewis Moody MBE; swimming with former international swimmer, Jaime Ormshaw; and tennis with Director of Tennis at the University of Bath, Barry Scollo.
Over the next three months, there are also plans for Hester to challenge herself with kayaking, frisbee golf, caving, archery, rifle shooting, indoor sky diving and climbing!
Toby Goodman, Director of Sport at The Paragon, is looking forward to helping Hester with her fundraising. “Hester is an inspiration to us all. She is a very courageous and determined young sportswoman and it will be exciting to follow her progress in the years to come.”
If you would like to support Hester in achieving her goal of attempting as many different sports as possible and ultimately raise enough funds to get to her next ski training camp in October, please check out her fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/HesterPooleViSkier.