A blind schoolboy helped lead an empowering charity walk in aid of a visually impaired sports club. 

On Sunday (May 12), the Aysgarth community laced up their walking shoes for the Yorkshire Vikings Visually Impaired Cricket Club (YVVIC) - all led by schoolboy, Hugo Hare, 11.

Hugo, a year six pupil at Aysgarth School, has a positive impact on fellow pupils and cannot be overstated - with the walk acting as an activity to Empower individuals like Hugo to thrive in sports despite visual impairment.

The Northern Echo: Hugo Hare (right) and his brother AlfieHugo Hare (right) and his brother Alfie (Image: YVVIC)

One of the highlights of the Big Walk was the ½ mile stretch blindfolded allowing every pupil to experience Hugo’s world.

With 279 walkers taking part and a large support team there were nearly 300 members of the Aysgarth Community taking part.

Many of the children who managed the 16-mile walk are only eight and nine years old.

The Northern Echo: On Sunday 12 May 2024, the Aysgarth community laced up their walking shoes for Yorkshire Vikings Visually Impaired Cricket Club (YVVIC)On Sunday 12 May 2024, the Aysgarth community laced up their walking shoes for Yorkshire Vikings Visually Impaired Cricket Club (YVVIC) (Image: YVVIC)

To date, nearly 190 supporters have donated over £10,500 (including gift Aid) for YVVIC.

Hugo is a member of the YVVIC and on the National Development Team.

YVVIC is much more than a sports organisation, it serves as a lifeline for its members; providing not only cricket training but also essential support and guidance for everyday tasks, the club fosters a sense of belonging and acceptance.

Lois Turner a team member of Hugo’s emphasised the profound impact that YVVIC has had on her life.

The Northern Echo: Hugo Hare with his friends Hugo Hare with his friends (Image: YVVIC)

"We just have to do things a little bit differently," she remarked, "and it's just nice to talk when we get together. We are like a family at cricket, at sport, and we are there for each other."

With matches spanning across the country, from Durham to Lancashire to Surrey and beyond, YVVIC is committed to making its activities accessible to all.

The Northern Echo: Some of the walkers taking part in the charity walkSome of the walkers taking part in the charity walk (Image: YVVIC)

However, the club requires additional funding to continue its vital work, including providing transportation assistance and improving overall accessibility.

There are alarmingly few clubs or groups in the area for visually impaired people meaning that many have to travel far to access this wonderful and supportive community.

The Northern Echo: The Hare familyThe Hare family (Image: YVVIC)

John Garbett, captain of YVICC praised Hugo, saying: " The sponsored walk was a brilliant effort by Hugo, who is an amazing young man and I'm sure a future star of the Yorkshire Vikings VI cricket club both on & of the field” and explained what a difference the money will make.

“The money gathered from this great fundraising will enable the club to pick up our school coaching programme once again and allow us to coach visually impaired children across the county, while at the same time giving their sighted peers some awareness of the challenges those VI pupils face daily.

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"Archie and Hugo are a credit to their wonderful, supportive and tireless parents Charlie and Bianca. Although they were keen to pass credit to Aysgarth."

He added: "We really can't thank Aysgarth School enough for all the hard work and energy put into organising and creating this event to raise all the much-needed funds and awareness which will make such a huge difference and impact to VI cricket and the visually impaired community.

"Charlie and Bianca's exceptional efforts in facilitating connections between YVVIC and the Aysgarth community deserve utmost recognition. Their unwavering commitment and heartfelt desire to extend the invaluable benefits of YVVIC's membership to others epitomise the spirit of compassion and inclusivity."

Just Giving Page link.