Jordan Blythe

Jordan Blythe

SPORTS TRAIDER volunteer and Hoops Aid assistant coach Jordan Blythe is 21 and suffers from the incurable disease Ulcerative Colitis. He hasn’t let it stop him. Here is his story:

“From what I remember, my mum and dad have always encouraged me to be active and enjoy sport from way back when I was toddling around.

“I first started playing basketball from an early age and enjoyed it from the moment I picked up a ball. Every moment was spent shooting hoops on my driveway.

“My mum used to volunteer at my primary school, she would come every day after she’d finished work and take sports clubs for all of the children.

“I was really proud, because she included everyone and got children participating in something, who would normally not have. She always said everyone should be given a chance to express themselves in a sporting way and be let loose.

“I played basketball in my school teams, then went and trialled for the Leicestershire Youth Games, where I was chosen and represented the Charnwood area. “I went on to train and play for a team called Leicester Warriors, this was run by a former Leicester Riders player, Karl Brown. “Throughout my school years, I attended basketball camps run by Leicester Riders and their former coach Billy Mimms, I just loved everything about the game. “I left for University in Sept 2012, to study maths and sport sciences at Chester University.

“During my first weeks there I went along and trialled for the University basketball teams, getting selected for the 1st team. “I was really happy about this, as it meant I could be studying what I loved and also playing what I loved doing – BASKETBALL!! “In December of 2012, I began to feel unwell but couldn’t explain what was happening to me … I’d always been so fit and healthy but here I was feeling constantly fatigued, I was losing weight and other complications. “In Feb 2013 at the age of 18, I was diagnosed with an Inflammatory Bowel Disease called ‘Ulcerative Colitis’ …. without going into too much detail, this was LIFE CHANGING for me and my family.

“In August 2013, things got really bad and I made the decision to have one year out from University for me to be able to get extra medical help and then learn how to live with this illness and what comes with it. “The great news is – in Sept 2014 I returned to the University of Chester, to start my 2nd year studies and YES, I am back playing basketball for the University team and loving every minute. “My team have been incredible, their support is amazing!! We have just had the best season ever, winning the BUCS league title, getting to the final of the National Founders cup and the semi final of the BUCS Cup.

“So, even though I’m diagnosed with this illness, I’m a fighter, I battle everything and this wasn’t going to shape my life, I was determined to live my life to the full, even though I know this is incurable, I WILL manage it and I WILL succeed in everything I do, even if it’s extra hard for me. I’m really pleased that last year we raised over £6,000 for Crohn’s and Colitis UK, by organising our own charity events.

“I am so proud to be part of Hoops Aid and everything they strive to do alongside it. I think that everyone should have the chance to participate in sport, no matter who they are or where they come from!! The Hoops Aid event is taking a huge leap in making sport more accessible to the masses and I believe other sports should soon follow suit.” – Jordan Blythe

— by PAUL BROWN @pbsportswriter