Bowling News USA - August 14, 2014 Year 10 Student To Bowl for England After 'Striking Against' Scoliosis
by Stuart Watson | talktenpin.net
Against The Odds - Scoliosis
Amy Sedgwick is 15 years of age, and a student at The King's School in Peterborough. A keen bowler, Amy has been bowling on the Junior Team England (JTE) Tour since 2011.
The JTE Tour is a circuit of monthly events around England that sees hundreds of young teenage bowlers (and some as young as 11 or 12) take part in organised, safe and secure competition in which as many as 20 young athletes yearly winning the chance to pull-on an England shirt and bowl for their country.
The chance to represent your country in sport is typically very hard to achieve, however with the sport of bowling being available to people of all ages and abilities, and tours for juniors, adults, seniors and the disabled, the opportunities through bowling are second to none.
Talktenpin's Stuart Watson caught-up with Amy shortly after she completed the 2014 Junior National Championships in Coventry, to learn more about scoliosis and how she achieved her dream of bowling for England this year in Vienna's World Sports Festival.
“I have been bowling since I was about 7 years old and have always loved it.” Amy explained. “In September 2011 I started bowling my first year of the Junior Team England tour, and this is when I started to get more serious about the sport.”
"I had never had any health issues that got in the way, until just before I started JTE, when I was diagnosed with a condition called scoliosis.”
Scoliosis is a condition in which a person's spine is curved from side to side in either an 'S' or 'C' shape instead of the more regular straight line. Scoliosis can run in families, and the most common type affects children between the ages of 10 and 12, and the early teens, when the body is growing at its fastest rates. Girls are more likely to have scoliosis at these ages than boys. Amy's affected spine is shown in the picture to the left.
“I was then referred to the nearest specialist hospital which was Addenbrookes in Cambridge. After a consultation, along with x-rays which were taken to determine the severity of the condition, I was given two options.”
“These were to either live with it for the rest of my life and endure chronic (long-term) back pain (which could potentially cause other health risks), or have major spinal surgery to correct the curve, which would involve fusing titanium rods to my spine.”
“Although I knew I would need a long recovery period and at least 6 months out of bowling, I decided that in the long term surgery would be the best option, so I was put on the waiting list.”
Amy was quick to add “I knew that whatever the outcome I wouldn't want to give up bowling as it is what I love doing.”
“On the 30th June 2012 I finally had my operation, and for the next 6 days underwent tough physiotherapy so that I could start walking again and get back to full strength as soon as possible.”
“Although I was advised to take at least 6 months off, after 5 months (with my physiotherapist's agreement) I slowly started to get back into bowling. It took me a few months of tournaments to build up my stamina again. I feel that having this aim of finally bowling again made me so determined that it helped speed up my recovery.“
“Since getting back into bowling, I have continued to improve my average and this season was invited to join the National Association of Youth Bowling Clubs (NAYBC) Academy, and I passed top of my year!”
“Other things I have achieved this season include the Lincolnshire Open, where I won my division with a 202 average, and bowled a personal best game and series.”
One of the stepping-stones to England bowling available to young bowlers is a chance to represent their County in the Inter-County Championships, which are fiercely contested team events that play-out in an environment of very high excitement and tension. Amy qualified and played for Cambridgeshire and then got the news she was in the England squad
The journey from diagnosis to operation to recovery has not been easy, but Amy's love for the sport of bowling drove her onwards, and after getting these great results, the international call was the icing on the cake.
An excited Amy exclaimed “To top it off, I have recently been selected to represent England at the World Sports Festival held in Vienna in July!” Amy's spine has now been successful straightened by surgery as can be seen in the picture.
We thank Amy for sharing her story with us, and for letting us see her x-ray pictures. We hope that her success will inspire others who may have health challenges to look ahead to a positive future. Amy explained “My main aim in writing this is to send a positive message across to show that you can overcome difficult situations like this, and if you don't let it affect your spirit then anything is achievable.”
Photo Credit | Stuart Watson | talktenpin.net
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