Cricket is known for its ability to be more than ‘just a game’ and bringing communities together – but can it be more than that? We think so!
Earlier this year we learnt of the incredible story of Patrick Medhurst-Feeney, a disabled Armed Forces Veteran who was injured whilst serving in Afghanistan in 2013. A lover of sports, cricket specifically, Patrick thought his playing days were over, until 2014 when Help for Heroes coach Paul Whyton put a cricket bat back in his hand and adapted his game.
“I have restricted mobility in my right leg, which still might need to be removed” explains Patrick, “due to the lack of physical ability combined with mental health conditions, I have struggled, but never been deterred from playing cricket. Thanks to both the Devon and Cornwall Cricket Boards along with Yelverton Bohemians CC and Bugle CC, I can play among able bodied players which is a massive boost to my recovery”.
When meeting Patrick back in May, he explained how for the majority of his (pre-injury) playing years he didn’t use a cricket helmet as he felt they were restricting, although since starting to play again in the modern game – he’s needed to rely on one more and more.
Photo credit: Chris Cottrell – Patrick playing for Yelverton Bohemians CC
“Since playing again, I noticed that the game has sped up and sadly I’ve taken a few bola balls on the chin during training. I really like the Masuri helmet – having tried a few of the other makes and models available – I think Masuri offers the best balance between comfort and vision. Anything that keeps me safe whilst playing can only be a good thing”.
With his main enjoyment coming from playing among those that have had similar experiences, Patrick credits Help for Heroes Cricket for being a large part of his recovery and was involved with the Cricket for Heroes game played at The Oval back in 2015.
Patrick’s story is a humbling one for a product manufacturer like us, the main reason of producing protective equipment is to enable cricket players to play for longer with as little fear of injury as possible – but not many in such incredible circumstances as Patrick and fellow Help for Heroes team members.
If you can relate to Patricks story and are looking for more information about how Help for Heroes can help you, then please visit their website. Likewise, if you are struggling with mental health issues and would like to talk to someone then you can visit Mind, the mental health charity.