East Fremantle cricketer plays on thanks to Dare to Dream


Hugh Atkinson and his mother Lee Westbook.
Hugh Atkinson and his mother Lee Westbook.

HUGH Atkinson loves his cricket.

However, the 17-year-old East Fremantle resident has had to fight to play the sport he loves so much.

Hugh was diagnosed with cancer in his left fibula two years ago. During an operation to remove part of the diseased bone his peroneal nerve was cut and he was left with drop foot, a condition that left him without the ability to lift his foot from the ankle.

He now has to wear a special Ankle Foot Orthotic (AFO) to walk but was left devastated during a recent cricket trip to Malaysia when the AFO broke and he was forced to sit the game out.

Hugh might never have to experience that heartache again thanks to a Dare to Dream Scholarship, which enabled him to buy another AFO to use as an emergency back-up in case the first broke again.

“The scholarship has been crucial in getting back to playing again. Having a second AFO gives me confidence that I can play well and not be sidelined if it breaks like it did when I was playing on tour in Malaysia,” he said.

“I’ve lost some flexibility and lateral movement in my ankle but I’ve adapted my batting and bowling techniques to allow for this. I’m really happy to be back playing cricket.”

Other locals with passions in sport, arts or study are invited to apply for the next Dare to Dream Scholarship.

Visit www.redkite.org.au/daretodream for more information.

Applications close on August 14.