Cup-winning cricket season for women’s side BAT-tling health issues amid blood testing trial
Eastwood Town CC ladies scoop East Midlands Women’s Softball Cup 2022
An inter-generational women’s cricket team from Nottinghamshire, which includes a grandmother of four and a 30-year-old HGV driver has achieved a best-ever season – despite battling a range of health issues.
The group from Eastwood Town Cricket Club – Hayley Stocks (30), Rebecca Stanbridge (38), Hannah Hurrell (43), and 60-year-old Nora Dockrell – underwent at-home blood tests from healthcare provider Medichecks .
The finger-prick tests analysed 16 biomarkers including cholesterol, thyroid, kidney, and liver function, as well as vitamins and minerals that can affect energy levels and mental wellbeing.
Two members of the team were flagged as vitamin D deficient, which can cause aches and pains, low energy, tiredness, poor memory and difficulties concentrating.
Three of the four cricketers are seeking GP advice to rule out any serious conditions, following readings outside of the ‘healthy’ range – and are encouraging others with health ‘niggles’ to have a ‘do-it‘ attitude when it comes to taking care of themselves.
Nora, who battled COVID for eight weeks in 2020 and was subsequently diagnosed with diabetes, had a ferritin (iron) score more than three times the recommended highest marker, which could indicate liver damage or an inflammatory condition.
In addition, she returned an elevated reading for an enzyme called ALT, alongside raised levels of triglycerides. Both should be monitored as they can indicate liver damage, and a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
The grandmother of four boys, says: “The advice, based on my test results, was to eat more oily fish like salmon to improve my ‘good’ cholesterol. I was also told to try to reduce saturated fats because this would help with the triglyceride count.
“I know my diet isn’t too good, because I’ve got a sweet tooth and I could probably do with losing some weight too, but I am active and spend a lot of time running around after the kids.”
For mum-of-three Rebecca Stanbridge, the tests provided the prompt she needed to return to her GP after experiencing liver pain. She says: “I’ve had pains for a long time, but over Christmas last year I noticed that if I drink alcohol I was in agony. I’d sought advice before, but felt like I’d been fobbed off. Now I know my liver markers are higher than normal, I’ll feel more confident to go back to the GP to get some answers.”
She adds: “I also discovered my vitamin D was low, so I’ve started taking supplements and I feel a lot better. I used to be so tired all the time – I struggled to make it through the day without having a nap around my bakery shifts. Now I don’t need to sleep in the day, and it makes such a difference.”
Hannah Hurrell, aged 43, is a mum-of-three and is currently studying a Masters in Psychology. After having some health concerns, the test has confirmed a need to investigate further with her GP.
“I’m living life with a bit more of a do-it attitude, so I took the test because I think the more you know about yourself, the better.
“Life is busy and when you have niggles it’s really easy to dismiss it. But I’ve been tired a lot, had a metallic taste in my mouth, and there were other changes that I knew I needed to get checked out, but didn’t. The test flagged some areas of concern, such as iron levels being very low, so I’m now going to get it sorted. It’s given me the push I needed.”
Team captain and founder Hayley Stocks volunteered for the health MOT with Medichecks after being troubled by health issues included fainting, fatigue and pins and needles. Yet the HGV driver still manages to juggle working up to 50 hours per week with amateur netball, competitive horse-riding and cricket – recently qualifying as a Level 2 coach in the sport.
While the 30-year-old has a balanced and varied diet, she was unaware of low vitamin B-12, so is now taking supplements to correct it. She says: “The low B-12 could be why I’ve had low energy. The main motivator for me was to see if anything came up seriously wrong, because I’ve had some symptoms like fainting, which doctors haven’t been able to get to the bottom of yet.”
Medichecks chief medical officer Dr Sam Rodgers says: “At-home blood tests can provide valuable peace of mind and reassurance, and that’s what most of our customers find.
“What’s important for Hayley, Nora, Rebecca and Hannah is that they’ve now received some tangible advice on how they can be the healthiest versions of themselves, by making small lifestyle changes, and adding supplements where needed.
“It’s natural to put health concerns to the back of your mind, and for individuals in the group who had areas of concern flagged, these can now be followed up because the tests have given that little nudge to address it. Our bodies change over the years – being aligned to those changes and taking positive steps to improve wellbeing is a good thing.”
The tests will set the Eastwood ladies in good stead as they head into winter training, with a group heading to Murcia in Spain for a women’s softball cricket festival in May 2023.
It adds to a milestone season, with the Eastwood Town women’s squad entering a hardball league this season for the first time, as the Club celebrates a milestone 70 years since it was founded, in 1952. It has two senior men’s teams, which compete in the South Notts League, plus a burgeoning junior programme for children aged five to 11.
Hayley adds: “The women’s team make a really positive contribution to the Club and our confidence has grown since we started in 2019. We’re always looking for new players of all ages and abilities, whether to join training to get active, or to play in matches, and it’s a great social scene too.”
To find out more about the Eastwood Town CC women’s team, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Medichecks finger-prick tests can be taken at home and posted via Royal Mail to an accredited UK laboratory. Via an online dashboard, users will discover if they are within the healthy ranges and what their personal results mean. A qualified GP provides on next steps for any irregular findings.
For further information on the at-home blood tests, visit www.medichecks.com
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