New drive to encourage stroke victims to play golf

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams May 14, 2018 11:27

A new project in Wales is taking place to encourage people who have survived a stroke to try golf or get back into the game they love.

In 2014 we reported on a study that found that older men who play golf every day can cut their risk of suffering a stroke by two thirds, provided they walk the course, and by 2016 the Stroke Association was saying that golf provides a number of key social, mental and physical benefits that are essential to the recovery for stroke victims.

Now, as part of a New2Golf campaign, Wales Golf has partnered with the Stroke Association to highlight the accessibility of golf and demonstrate the benefits of golf for those who have survived a stroke.

Parc Golf Club. ©Steve Pope – Sportingwales

Up to ten facilities across Wales will roll out the scheme this season, all offering free or low cost beginner group lessons, specifically tailored to stroke survivors. Each facility has a dedicated inclusive golf trained professional who will be able to adapt to individuals’ specific needs, ensuring all participants gain a really valuable experience.

Parc Golf Club in Newport, led by inclusive trained PGA professional Joe Vickery, undertook a pilot scheme last season which proved successful and has continued this year. One participant who took part in the trial scheme was Peggy Cumbers. Peggy had a stroke in August 2016 which left her with slight left sided weakness, balance problems and a severe lack of confidence.

Prior to the stroke, golf was a big part of Peggy’s life, having enjoyed many years as a member of Pontnewydd Golf Club, with the pinnacle of her career being when she volunteered at the Ryder Cup when it came to the Celtic Manor in 2010.

When the opportunity to play golf again was presented to Peggy at her local stroke club, she was delighted to get back into a game she had always loved.

“I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to play golf again, I wasn’t sure I would be able to after my stroke, so when the possibility was there, I had to give it a try,” said Peggy.

“The inclusive trained professionals at the club were extremely friendly and positive and this makes a big difference to the stroke survivors.

“The facilities at Parc Golf Club are great for people with disabilities, so there was no concern about getting about. I was previously concerned about falling when I first attended as I can be a little unsteady but I was provided with a really safe environment which gave me confidence to try and it felt wonderful swinging a club again.

©Steve Pope – Sportingwales

“I’m so grateful to the scheme for giving me the confidence, guidance and encouragement to play golf again. I look forward to the sessions each week, it’s wonderful to be in the club again and socialising and I would encourage anyone who is a stroke survivor to take advantage of the scheme.”

Wales Golf is encouraged by the positive reaction they have had to the pilot scheme and hope this will be an ongoing partnership with the Stroke Association.

“This year’s New2Golf Back2Golf campaign, supported by The R&A, is all about tailoring golf to your needs and abilities, a pick ‘n’ mix approach to the game and this is a perfect example of that”, said Wales Golf director of development Hannah McAllister.

Golf clubs are helping people recover from a stroke

“Those who have survived a stroke often lack confidence to do what they did before the stroke or try anything new but the benefits on health and well being we have seen through the pilot scheme have been overwhelming and we’re excited to roll this out Wales wide so more stroke survivors can access these benefits.

“I’d encourage people to visit our website and determine their nearest participating club and get along there. More clubs will be rolling out the scheme across the coming months and we hope each year there will be even more clubs signing up.”

To register your interest in attending please contact the development team at Wales Golf – sian.simmons@walesgolf.org

 

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams May 14, 2018 11:27
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