BY: Michelle Liew
While some people may struggle to achieve their dreams, “giving up” is not part of Hari Roberts’ vocabulary.
The teenager from Anglesey, Wales, has a knack for taking people by surprise.
The 19-year-old Welsh was born with Leber Congenital Amaurosis and has been blind since birth. Despite that, his condition has never stopped him from chasing after his dreams, which include a plethora of sports such as climbing, horse riding, swimming and even running.
According to Hari, “when there’s a will there’s a way”.
“I have just done a high-roped climbing course with my dad, I’ve been horse riding since I was nine years old, I’ve been skiing and I’ve gone on to do a triathlon to raise money, and I like running, swimming and walking,” says Hari as quoted from BBC.
“I’ve shown from a young age that being blind is no barrier if you’re motivated and truly believe in yourself.”
Hari’s ambitious attitude stems from the constant encouragement from his parents. He stated that his parents taught him from a young age that his blindness need not be a barrier to his success. Hari has a goal to make the most out of his daily life by embracing extraordinary opportunities.
“In day to day life it doesn’t make anything different. There is always a will and a way to find or figure a way out of doing something.
“It’s easier do everything on my own without people giving me a hand, apart from when I go the shop because I can’t see things on the shelf.”
Hari notes that he is in the final stages of completing his equine care and management course at Coleg Cambria in Northop, Flintshire. Hari does not drive so he takes the train daily from Angelsey and travels to-and-fro for five hours.
He stated that upon completion of his course, he has set sights on going to university and eventually work closely with horses and riders as a nutritionist.
Hari has undergone a corneal replacement procedure in 2020 and is still in the midst of recovery. There has been a slight breakthrough with his vision.
“I remember being able to see the outline of curtains in the window for the very first time.”
“That was an uplifting and emotional moment, but largely I can’t see anything and that’s always been the way.”
It goes without saying that Hari’s achievements are nothing short of stellar. In fact, he is used to the follow-up questions from people, asking him how does he manage to do it.
“The answer I give is: It’s more of a case of figuring out how to do things. Just because they have a condition it doesn’t mean they can’t do things.”
Hari is an inspiration to younger people and shows us that no matter obstacle you may come across, there is always a way to over come it.
Hari states that it is important people with disabilities “learn from their mistakes, so if they fall, they will remember it and they won’t do it again, but it won’t help them in the long run if you constantly mollycoddle them”.
“Nine times out of 10, if you want to do things your body does the work, not your eyes, so whatever you want to do there is always a will and a way to do it, you’ve just got to figure out a way to do it for your own personal needs,” he added.
Natalie Cliffe, Hari’s equine lecturer at Northop, said: “His attitude and ability are unparalleled, as is his strength of character.
“We will really miss him here at the college but know Hari will go on to have a long and successful career in the industry.”