Run raises £5,000 to help dementia sufferers play golf

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 6, 2017 08:27

Two fitness fanatics have run from Wentworth Club to Le Golf National in France to raise thousands of pounds to enable people with dementia to play golf.

Dr Andrew Murray, a Scottish sports medicine doctor who is involved in a five-year research project looking at the health benefits of golf, and Paul Dunstan, Ryder Cup operations director with the European Tour, ran over 200 miles to the host venue of the 2018 Ryder Cup, as part of the ‘Year to Go’ celebrations.

Dr Andrew Murray (left) and Paul Dunstan

The duo, who ran in excess of a marathon on each of the seven days they ran, took on various golfing challenges during their rest breaks, are on target to raise £5,000 for ‘Golf In Society’, enabling people with dementia to continue to play the game.

The pair even came second in the pairs competition at the British Speedgolf Open during the run and played a round at Le Golf National when they arrived.

Dr Murray, who is also a brand ambassador for Merrell UK, once ran 4,300km from Scotland to the Sahara desert. However, the 37-year-old admitted struggling for the first few days running, a result of viral meningitis he caught three weeks prior.

Anthony Blackburn lends a reassuring hand to the putting stroke at one of Golf In Society’s sessions

“I spent the first day spewing and just holding on,” he said. “This wasn’t ideal given we were having to eat 5,000 to 6,000 calories each per day just to keep going. But I feel as right as rain now, nothing beats a decent dose of exercise.

“I work with the University of Edinburgh and the World Golf Foundation’s Golf and Health project.

“We want to highlight that exercise in the great outdoors is the best thing you can do for your health.

“Going from being a couch potato to walking, running or playing golf regularly can add seven years to life, it can improve health and on average make you happier.

“We’re urging everyone to get outside and get walking, running, golfing or any other activity you enjoy.”

Anthony Blackburn (centre, green shirt, crouching) with a group of his players and their carers at Rudding Park 

Paul Dunstan added: “Andrew and I have had some incredible moments running and playing golf, the highlight seeing Andrew waist deep in a pond during our game of Wild Golf, which carried me through plenty of difficult miles. He definitely won the running, I’d like to think I won the golf!

“I’m proud to have helped raise awareness of a superb organisation, Golf In Society. Hopefully the support received will continue and the aching legs will be all the more worthwhile.”

Anthony Blackburn, the founder of Golf In Society commented: “We have been working incredibly hard since we started two years ago and this effort by Paul and Andrew gives real impetus to our hopes and plans.

“Working with health and wellbeing stakeholders and the golf industry, we want as many golf clubs as possible to appreciate the social benefits and the financial potential of getting involved for their local communities and for those living with dementia and Parkinsons.”

Paul and Andrew’s efforts can be supported at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/GolfAndMentalHealth

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 6, 2017 08:27
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