Student battling rare hip disease knocks Lancashire county cricket chiefs for six
15 December 2016
A student battling a rare hip disease has been signed up for a county cricket side after knocking scouts for six.
Nicki Jones has suffered with the bone condition Perthes since birth, but that hasn’t stopped him making strides on the sporting stage.
Currently studying for a BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy at Wrexham Glyndwr University, Nicki has been chosen to represent Lancashire County Cricket club’s physical disability squad, having impressed as a swing bowler during a the open season with able-bodied cricketers and again at the regional talent weekend held at Edgbaston.
He was also one of the drivers behind the Welsh Disabled Golf Association, and says keeping active in both body and mind has helped him live a full life.
Now pursuing his dream of becoming an occupational therapist, the 33 year-old is enjoying life in north east Wales having moved from Brecon two years ago.
“Perthes is a serious bone condition but to be honest I try not to let it bother me, and it certainly doesn’t stop me doing the things I want to do,” said Nicki.
“That was certainly the case with cricket, which is something I came late to. I’m a bowler, a swing bowler, but would like to eventually be a solid all-rounder and develop further.
“I love the sport and playing for Lancashire will be a great platform for me to hopefully reach my goal of making the national team.”
Nicki says he also loves life at Wrexham Glyndwr, and wants to thank his lecturers on the Occupational Therapy degree for the support shown to him since he arrived.
That included help with study skills, as during the second year of his studies Nicki found he had dyslexia.
“I was offered a place at several universities but once I came here and met the lecturers I decided straight away that this was the place for me,” he said.
“They were so friendly and it was made clear that here at Wrexham Glyndwr University you’re not just a number, there’s a more personal approach – that’s certainly proven to be the case.”
He added: “Finding out I had dyslexia while I was here was also a big shock, but made so much sense and has since meant I can tackle any learning problems I had before.
“The University is renowned for its support of students with dyslexia and Irlen syndrome, and that’s playing a big part in helping me achieve my dream of a degree.”
NOTES: Perthes disease (also known as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, or Calve Perthes disease, or avascular necrosis) is a childhood disorder which affects the head of the femur (the ball of the ball and socket joint of the hip). In Perthes disease the blood supply to the growth plate of the bone at the end of the femur becomes inadequate. As a result the bone softens and breaks down. In most cases patients make a full recovery. Visit www.perthes.org.uk for more.