Fundraiser launched after rising basketball and football star from Rainham injures knee

A rising basketball and football star needs to raise £11,500 for reconstructive surgery after injuring her knee.

Elsie Power, from Rainham, ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in May, leaving her “devastated” at having to potentially take a break from sport of up to a year-and-a-half.

Elsie Power, from Rainham, needs to raise £11,000 for reconstructive surgery after injuring her knee in May
Elsie Power, from Rainham, needs to raise £11,000 for reconstructive surgery after injuring her knee in May

The 13-year-old started playing basketball at an after-school club in primary school when she was nine.

Shortly after, she was approached by Kent Crusaders Basketball Club and was asked to join their club sessions.

When lockdown ended, Elsie joined the Basketball England Talent pathway programme at the age of 11.

Her mum Rebecca, 43, said: “When she was 11 she was playing under 14s and when she was 12 she was playing under 16s, so she’s been playing basketball at a pretty high level ever since.”

But while she was on a holiday camp in May with Kent Crusaders, she injured her knee.

Elsie started playing basketball when she was nine
Elsie started playing basketball when she was nine

Rebecca said: “She changed direction and then heard her knee go pop.

“We went to the hospital the next day and they said it was soft tissue damage.

“But she still couldn’t put weight on it after four weeks so we went to a physio who suggested there was likely something more wrong.

“We paid £300 for a private MRI and that’s when we found out she’d ruptured her ACL and that she needed an operation.”

Elsie ruptured her ACL in May
Elsie ruptured her ACL in May

Her family has set up a JustGiving page to raise £5,000 for her to have knee surgery privately, after being told the NHS wait time to see a surgeon is 13 weeks.

They would then have to wait up to six months for an operation.

The anticipated recovery time would be between nine and 12 months.

Elsie has also been playing football for nine years, since she was four, and got into Chatham Town FC this year.

She is also in the Medway district team for football.

Elsie with mum Rebecca
Elsie with mum Rebecca

Rebecca said: “She used to train football and basketball on a Monday, football on a Thursday, have a basketball game on a Saturday and a football match on a Sunday.

“She can’t play at the moment. She’s on crutches and she’s in pain – she’s really, really sad.

“The timing of this injury is cruel. She now potentially won’t play for Chatham Town FC.

“She was also about to enter her final year in the Aspire Programme for basketball which is when they pick for the England team, so that’s quite a big deal.

“It runs for under 15s and she’ll likely be too old by the time she’s recovered.

“It's so hard seeing her world fall apart like this.”

Elsie Power, from Rainham, needs to raise £11,500 for reconstructive surgery after injuring her knee in May
Elsie Power, from Rainham, needs to raise £11,500 for reconstructive surgery after injuring her knee in May

Elsie has autism and struggles socially, but her mum says “sport is her therapy” and helps her to socialise.

Rebecca also says it’s given her a huge confidence boost and support network.

“Sport is essential to her well-being,” the mum-of-two said.

“Elsie’s life is us going from one sporting event to another. All she talks about is basketball and football.

“Basketball and Chatham Town have been really proactive in trying to keep her involved.

“But what that means is she goes to her sports sessions and while it’s lovely to see her friends, she can’t join in.

Elsie started playing basketball when she was nine
Elsie started playing basketball when she was nine

“On Saturday we went to a Chatham Town signing and she stood in the car park afterwards and cried.”

The cost for the operation to be carried out privately will be £11,500 but Rebecca is aiming to raise £5,000 to help cover the sum.

The primary school teacher added: “Elsie’s dream is to be a dual athlete and play basketball and football professionally.

“But now if we don’t get the operation soon it feels less likely than it did before.

“That money is going to be the difference between her being two years out of sport versus nine months out of sport – and that’s huge.

“If we get the operation done now we can start working on recovery. Doing nothing now is the hardest bit.

“I would love to speed this whole process up and give her the best chance of getting back to it as soon as possible.”

Share this story

COMPETITION

Win a football coaching session at Ballerz in Bluewater with former England star Rio Ferdinand


Helpful links

Local news