The 2022 cricket season got off to a flying start for Elite, with Team GB tennis pro-turned-physio Emma Hurst volunteering at Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School’s Cricket Inspiration Day, alongside England cricketer Fran Wilson.

Written by: Amy Knight

Emma Hurst joined the line-up of current and former cricket players, coaches and officials – male and female – inspiring Year 7 and 8 girls at the school to give cricket a try and even consider a career in professional sport.  

Dinton CC coach Mike Sutliff challenged the girls to test their own capabilities

The girls from both year groups were taken off timetable for the day, giving them a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in cricket and discover skills and abilities they didn’t know they had. 

Emma Hurst Joins EPM

Emma shared her experience of the pathway from grassroots tennis through to international competitions, with a focus on motivating the girls to continue pursuing sport through their teenage years and onto university.

"There's typically a big drop out around age 14 and 15, meaning they miss out on the amazing networking that sport offers to young women” she said. 

I wanted to share my story of moving on from professional sport into physiotherapy, to show that the even if you don’t make it as a pro - or have to stop due to injury, as I did - there are plenty of other options for you to build a career afterwards.

As a recently retired GB cricketer, Fran Wilson’s expert skills-based sessions were supported by the Dinton Cricket Club Coaches, who have worked tirelessly to build up the women and girls’ section to be both inclusive and competitive. 

Former England Cricketer Fran Wilson coached the schoolgirls

Hard-hitting impact

Alissa Shannon, a student at Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School, attended a similar in-school event run by the Dinton Cricket Club coaches in 2019. Alissa now plays county cricket for Buckinghamshire and is one of the leading bowlers in the UK for her age group. A former patient at Elite Physical Medicine, this remarkable young cricketer competes at local and county level in the senior Women’s teams, as well as in the Under 15s.  

Education to prevent injury

After learning how to throw harder, hit a ball further and dive for a catch like the world was watching, the year 7 and 8 students were fascinated by Emma’s insights into role of physio in sport. They learnt about injury prevention and rehabilitation, with guidance on the strengthening exercises that are important for cricketers.  

A student practices bowling at Fran Wilson

Alissa said; “it’s fantastic to have Elite come into school and educate students on exercises to prevent injuries and maintain physical health. These sessions are incredibly helpful for young athletes."

I have been treated by the physio team myself, to prevent injuries as well as healing pre-existing ones. It’s a great environment and an excellent facility.

The girls enjoyed pro athlete treatment, with fitness, strength and capacity testing all round, plus careful screening for injury risk. Emma’s personal experience and clinical expertise in upper limb injuries, particularly shoulder and elbow, is what makes her such an asset to the Elite Physical medicine team. 

Emma said; “The students were exceptionally well behaved but I was keen to make it as practical as possible to make sure they were engaged. It’s so important to me that we inspire more girls to pursue sport and see where it can take them."

I’m proud of what everyone has achieved at Sir Henry Floyd and grateful that Elite is able to create more opportunities like this in the Aylesbury community.

This article appeared online and in print, in the June-July issue of Vale Life magazine. Click to read online

Whether you’re a seasoned cricketer or tennis player, or starting this season as a beginner, Elite can support you with a personalised injury prevention plan. Please contact the clinic to book a stress test for your shoulder and discuss a rotator cuff strengthening programme.