Hit The Top Inspire
In 2015 Hit the Top Inspire provided specialist sports clubs for 448 young people aged 11 – 18 with visual impairments, physical disabilities, autism spectrum disorder and learning difficulties. Impact evaluations showed that 90% of young people had experienced a significant increase in confidence.
Theo, age 14
When I was younger, I was going through a rough time because I felt so different to everyone else because of my sight. Then I heard about this local thing going on in my community centre, so I went down and actually played a couple of sports and met James the coach. I was 9 at the time. James completely understood where I was coming from, didn’t judge me and has literally transformed me! I mean it. My confidence has built from there with James’ help.
But it’s not even about cricket, it’s about me. Now, every time I go out and meet people, I’m not afraid to say ‘Listen, I’m VI (visually impaired), is that a problem?’ I’m so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to meet other people in the same situation as me and we can help each other to get through whatever problems we have, I want to thank the charity for that.
Right now I’m doing my GCSE’s and I’m acing them! But I’m also fundraising to go on a trip to Ecuador in 2017 for six weeks; I’ve got £300 so far. Over there we will be living the lifestyle of people with no water and little food to try to understand what it feels like and then after that we will be helping to improve the community by building wells, toilets and teaching in schools.
As for the future, I used to think I would have to do a boring job locked away, the only thing that VI people would get, and that’s how it’s going to be forever. But now, I want to be an actor! I can get any job that I want and I don’t need special treatment, because I understand that if I try hard I can get somewhere in my life. I can travel independently to different countries and work on TV. I will never say no to any opportunity, there’s nothing to lose.’