A TRIO of England disability cricketers who are studying at the University of Worcester have received scholarships to support them as they combine elite sport with their degree.
James Nordin, Will Flynn and Jonny Gale have been selected for the university’s sports scholarship programme, giving them financial and academic support, as well as access to specialist lifestyle advice.
James and Will have been competing for the England senior physical disability team, while Jonny is part of the England learning disability team.
With an international tournament in England this summer, James said having support from the university would be vital in effective preparation alongside academic commitments.
The 18-year-old, who in his first year studying sports coaching science, said: “In addition, the access to strength and conditioning support and sports therapy included in the scholarship will aid my training and recovery this winter, which will allow me to improve my strength and fitness as well as my technical cricket skills ahead of this season.
“The university is leading the way through its support for disability cricket and this is one of the main reasons I chose to study at Worcester.”
Jonny, who is in the third year of a cricket coaching management degree, said the scholarship was brilliant. “Not only has it provided financial support, but the access I’ve had to the university’s training facilities and coaching staff, who devised a strength and conditioning programme specifically for me, has really paid off,” he said.
“My fitness level has improved and my cricketing stats for last season have been my best to date.”
The 24-year-old added: “Also, I am on the autism spectrum and from time to time I’ve found myself having difficulty balancing my academic workload with maintaining the regular training programme and trips away that my England cricket commitment requires. However, the fantastic support provided by the scholarship staff has helped me to stay on top of my studies, yet still comply with my England duties 100 per cent.”
First-year student Will Flynn, 18, who is studying physical geography, has been part of the ECB’s Physical Disability Cricket Squads for three years.
He said: “The scholarship will play a vital role to help my cricketing career, especially with equipment costs, travelling costs and ultimately allow me to try and push forward my career and stay in the England pathway for as long as possible.
“Being one of the only scholars on the programme not to take a sport-related degree means that I often have less contact with the sports department at the university.
“This scholarship gives me more adaptability when balancing my Geography related studies and sporting commitments.”