17 February 2020

England and Bath netball player Summer Artman speaks about her arthritis diagnosis

England and Team Bath netball player Summer Artman has spoken about her arthritis diagnosis she was given at the age of just seven.

The 22-year-old revealed she was in 'absolute agony' before she was told about her condition.

Speaking to BBC Sport, she said: "My parents thought it was growing pains but then I kept complaining of these pains and I was waking up at night in absolute agony.

"People think that only older people get arthritis, they find it hard to understand how one day you're running as fast as you can on a netball court and the next you're unable to walk properly.

"In the morning I wouldn't be able to dress myself. At its worst I'd have days where I couldn't walk, I couldn't put my socks on.

Yet despite her medical condition, Artman insists she does not think of it as being a part of her.

"I can't say that I've ever adopted arthritis as part of my identity. It was never going to stop me from doing anything that I wanted to do," she added.

She also adapts her netball training to aid her arthritis.

She said: "I do a lot of my speed and agility training in the hydropool which is basically a warm pool where I jump around and do all my power movements in.

"That means I can do what I need to do and do the same as what any other netballer would do and just minimise the impact on my knees."

Artman will be back in action with Team Bath this weekend as the Vitality Netball Superleague season gets underway.

Bath face Loughborough Lightning away in their opening fixture.

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