Blind physical therapist up for national award

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A blind physical therapist from Buxton has been shortlisted for a top professional award, his latest success in proving the doubters wrong.

Nick Mulryan,42, from Harpur Hill is in the running for the Federation of Holistic Therapists’ award for Sports Therapist of the Year.

Nick said: “I’m still shocked. I’ve no idea who nominated me, I never expected it. It’s only when you achieve something that you realise how much you’ve done.”

It is the latest step in a career which began ten years ago.

He said: “My eyesight was deterioriating, and I needed to find something I could do—and one thing was massage and reflexology.”

While training at Stockport College, Nick developed an interest in healing sports injuries, which led to orthopaedics in Manchester, then to Nick being the first blind person to take a medical science degree at Teeside University.

He said: “They told me I’d taken on an arduous challenge, and it was. Other people could skim-read medical journals to find the bits they need, but when you’re working with speech software you have to listen to the whole thing.

“With the hands-on stuff, you develop more attuned senses, but you have to back it up with clinical knowledge.”

His post university life has led him into work with elite footballers, marathon-runners and triathletes, and shifts with Buxton Rugby Club.

He said: “It surprised the players, they’d never seen a blind person on the pitch.”

He also sits on the board of the Society of Sports Therapists, lectures, talks on blind radio stations and advises professional bodies on inclusivity.

The holistic therapy award nomination reflects his interest in diverse approaches, including hypnosis, acupuncture and emotional wellbeing.

He said: “Whatever it takes to give the best possible care—when you’ve been through as much as I have, you just want to do your best for everyone.

“People get so excited when they recover their abilities, it gives you great pleasure as a therapist.”

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London next month.