Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Pursuing a Passion for Sport

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Pursuing a Passion for Sport

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jennifer Bradbury

The Children's Foundation Sports School competition has given one lucky reader a week of fun-filled sporting activities. Jennifer Bradbury has the details

Earlier this year we joined forces with the Children's Foundation to offer a reader, aged between five and 15, a free place at a special summer school designed for sports mad youngsters.

At the school, held at La Sagesse School in Jesmond, Newcastle, youngsters get the chance to try out almost every activity on the pitch and in the gym, including American football, trampoline, football, basketball, netball, aerobics and athletics.

We asked youngsters to tell us in 50 words why they would like to take part in the Sports School this summer and the winner was Nick Robson, 12, from North Shields. He entered the competition and was selected out of many youngsters to join the Sports School.

Nick, who is a keen sportsman, has not always been able to take part in sporting activities as he was diagnosed with Perthes' disease which stops the blood getting to the hip bones.

Initially this disease was restrictive, with Nick being in leg braces for over four years, however his determination enabled him to try out new sports such as horse riding and swimming until he was given the all clear in September 2005.

Nick's mum, Deborah, said: "I'm so pleased Nick won the competition because it will give him the chance to try out so many new activities. Exercise is so important for everyone and it is great to see Nick get the chance to pursue his passion for sport.

"When a child is diagnosed with Perthes' disease it can be devastating for the whole family, however Nick's determination just shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel. There really is no stopping him now!"

The single mum, who works as a secretary, admits that money is tight, and that Nick hoped to save his mum some of her hard earned cash during the school holidays.

"Everything costs too much so when we saw the competition we decided to try it. He wanted to save me some money."

Deborah says that while Perthes' disease is not rare, she'd never heard of it until Nick was diagnosed. But Nick, she says, never showed any symptoms. It was only when a relative touched Nick near his hip and he cried that she suspected something was amiss.

She took him to the GP, who got Nick checked out. When Perthes' disease was diagnosed he was admitted to hospital. For a week he was in traction and then at the age of six he went into callipers. He didn't come out of them until he was just over 11.

Despite that though Nick never let his situation get him down. He continued to play tennis and ride his bike, albeit in a different way.

"Nick won't let anything get him down that's why he was in callipers a bit longer. …

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