Golf clubs are helping people recover from a stroke

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams December 6, 2017 13:20

The golf industry in Lancashire and Portugal has been showing that the health and social benefits of the game can help the rehabilitation process of people who have had a stroke.

In Lancashire clubs have been working with the Stroke Association to deliver ‘Get into golf’ sessions.

Debbie Barber, from the Lancashire Golf Development Group, said: “For anyone who has had a stroke, the road to recovery can be a long one. Golf is just one way of helping them regain their physical fitness while regaining their confidence to get out and about and meet up with people.

EDGA players at the Portugal Masters help raise funds for the training project

“By taking part in sessions with people in a similar situation, it has encouraged an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual support. From the small beginnings of the pilot scheme – which involved clubs in Blackburn, Rochdale, Lee Park in Liverpool and Fleetwood – we now hope to roll this programme out to a wider audience.”

Members at Mytton Fold Golf Club were on hand to support 16 players in a six-hole competition out on the course, while a further 20 stroke survivors took part in an indoor putting contest.

“We are grateful to Fairway Credit, the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs, England Golf and the Golf Foundation for donating prizes and to all the volunteers who have supported this programme,” added Debbie.

Joanne Mundey, Stroke Association support coordinator, said: “More people than ever before are surviving a stroke. But many stroke survivors tell us that they can feel isolated when they return home.

Training of physiotherapists at the Algarve Open by Mark Taylor, PGA tutor

“The Get into golf sessions provide an opportunity for stroke survivors to socialise with others who are also experiencing a life after stroke, benefit from exercise, build their confidence and enjoy learning new skills.

“We’re thrilled the course has been really popular with local stroke survivors and would encourage people to get in touch should they like to get involved in any future sessions.”

One plan includes the formation of the ‘Stroke Survivors Golf Society’ for survivors and their support workers.

Meanwhile, the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) has provided training to a group of specialist physiotherapists in Portugal so that they can help sufferers of stroke and other neurological conditions to enjoy the health benefits of golf.

EDGA is the official charity of the Portugal Masters, a tournament on the European Tour international schedule and part of the Race to Dubai. The money raised has funded this pilot project which will encourage patients in rehabilitation centres in the Algarve and Lisbon areas to first try golf and then enjoy further playing opportunities at local golf clubs. If successful it will be extended to assist people with a range of disabilities to take up the sport in communities throughout Portugal.

Training was given to six physiotherapists during the recent EDGA Algarve Open held at Pestana Vila Sol, an event supported by the Association of Algarve Tourism and featuring nearly 70 international golfers with a disability. The practical training session on basic technical aspects and adjustment considerations for golfers with impairment was given by Mark Taylor, a respected PGA tutor and development manager of EDGA.

EDGA players and Thomas Pieters at the Portugal Masters raise awareness

Mark Taylor said: “All those present agreed that golf can provide a great vehicle to help reintegrate patients in the community by offering a healthy sport which can help them both physically and mentally, by boosting confidence and taking away feelings of isolation that many may have encountered.”

Mark said it was also useful for the physiotherapists – four of them being non-golfers – to experience a modern, welcoming golf facility for the first time.

The European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) is supported by The R&A, European Tour, The Ryder Cup European Development Trust and 23 of Europe’s national golf federations, plus partners including PING and the Association of Algarve Tourism.

 

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams December 6, 2017 13:20
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