Through the support of caring people around her and British Blind Sport, BBS member Millie Hayter has found a sense of passion, direction and positivity that she struggled to find before.
Millie was born partially-sighted and has coloboma, nystagmus and glaucoma. This means that she has no vision in one eye and very limited vision in her remaining eye. She also has Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) which is a painful, long-term condition that makes life even more challenging for Millie.
As a teenager, Millie’s poor health made it difficult for her to attend school and an IBD flair-up caused her weight to plummet and stopped her from taking her GCSEs alongside her friends. This had a devastating impact on Millie and her self-esteem and confidence were at an all-time low. She later completed her studies but found it difficult to hold down a job.
She became lonely and withdrawn as she shut herself away from everyone. Her health deteriorated and her weight steadily crept up. She would barely leave her flat and when she did she found that she would get out of breath walking less than a minute to the shops.
Millie was at rock-bottom and knew something had to change. She took charge and visited her GP who referred her for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) where one of her tasks was to join a local sports club.
Millie joined a Martial Arts club where she learnt Jujitsu, developed her skills and made new friends. As her confidence grew, Millie decided that she wanted to make sport a part of her everyday life and she returned to college to train as a Personal Trainer. She’s also planning to undertake a course in Sports Massage.
Millie wanted to try out new sports so she got in touch with British Blind Sport and we put her in touch with her local Hugby team. Hugby is an adapted version of rugby for people with visually impairments. Millie now plays for the Worcester Warriors and has represented England in Hugby. She works in the café at the Club and is also a qualified instructor in Hugby and coaches a youth team. She has also had the amazing experiences of climbing Mount. Snowdon and Ben Nevis to fundraise with her team.
Sport has given Millie a passion that has provided her with positivity and a direction that she struggled to find before.
Millie says, “The biggest barriers in your way are the ones you put up. Never give up – no matter how bad it gets you can always turn things around”.