What is club foot as Hugo Hammond becomes first disabled Love Island contestant?

21 June 2021, 16:38

Hugo is Love Island's first disabled contestant
Hugo is Love Island's first disabled contestant. Picture: ITV/Instagram/Getty
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Hugo Hammond was born with club foot and will now become the first Love Island contestant to have a disability.

Hugo Hammond, 24, is one of the 2021 Love Island contestants to be revealed ahead of the new series which starts on June 28.

The PE teacher and cricketer is set to make history when he enters the villa as the show's first disabled contestant.

Hugo was born with club foot and underwent many operations are a child, however, he hasn't let it hold him back from achieving his goals.

Hugo was born with club foot, but hasn't let the disability hold him back in life
Hugo was born with club foot, but hasn't let the disability hold him back in life. Picture: ITV

What is club foot?

Club foot, also called talipes, is a condition where a baby is born with a foot or feet that turn in and under.

It happens when the Achilles tendon is too short and can affect both on one single foot.

Club foot is usually treated in early years as leaving it can make it difficult for the child to walk in the future.

According to the NHS, the condition is more common in boys and affects around 1 in every 1,000 born in the UK.

Club foot is usually diagnosed after the baby is born but can sometimes be spotted during scans.

How is club foot treated?

Club foot is usually treated within the first weeks of the baby being born.

The Ponseti method is often used to correct the feet or foot, which involves "gently manipulating and stretching your baby's foot into a better position before being put into a cast", the NHS website explains.

This routine is then repeated for about five to eight weeks.

When the last cast is removed, most babies need a minor operation to loosen the Achilles.

Club foot, also called talipes, is a condition where a baby is born with a foot or feet that turn in and under
Club foot, also called talipes, is a condition where a baby is born with a foot or feet that turn in and under. Picture: Getty

What has Hugo said about his club foot?

Prior to entering the Love Island villa, Hugo spoke openly about his condition.

He said: “I was born with club foot. I had lots of operations when I was a kid. You can only really tell when I walk barefoot. I’ve got a really short achilles heel. I walk slightly on my tip toes.”

He has however never let it hold him back and has enjoyed a successful sporting career.

“I’ve actually played cricket for England PD (Physical Disability). I’ve been to Bangladesh, Dubai, I’ve been everywhere to play cricket," he added.