Love Island newcomer Hugo Hammond has spoken about how he hopes to “set an example” ahead of his arrival in the villa.
The 24-year-old was born with club foot, and is the first ever Love Island contestant to have a physical disability.
Speaking before the launch of this year’s series, Hugo said (via PA Media): “If I can set a great example and show people that having a disability doesn’t mean you can’t be mainstream or it doesn’t mean that I don’t have a right to find love and things like that, then that would be great.”
“I would love to be the torch bearer for that,” he added.
Insisting that his physical disability “doesn’t define” him, Hugo explained: “[The other Islanders] probably will notice at some point, especially when I’m not walking in shoes, because I have got a slightly shorter Achilles tendon from the operation, so I walk slightly on my tiptoes.
“So people will notice and I will very happily educate them and tell them and inform them about everything I have been through and what other people go through.”
Hugo is now a PE teacher, having previously travelled the world as a member of England PD, the national physical disability team.
He is one of 11 new arrivals heading into Love Island’s Mallorcan villa when the ITV2 reality show kicks off its seventh series on Monday night.
The show will once again be presented by Laura Whitmore, who took over presenting duties for Love Island’s first (and, seemingly, only) winter series in 2020, with her husband Iain Stirling providing his usual commentary throughout.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.