40 people, aged seven and over, took part in the first ever golf taster day organised in partnership between the Muscular Dystrophy UK and Golf Trust charities. Families from across the UK travelled to The Shire for the event, which gave people living with muscle wasting or weakening conditions the chance to try golf for the first time. Amazingly, a quarter of attendees have since signed up for a series of 10 sessions, which will be delivered by PGA Members at venues across the UK starting at the end of this month.
There were many highlights from the day, but 17-year-old Archie’s story really touched the founder of The Golf Trust, Cae Menai-Davis. He explains, “Archie was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at just three years old. He hasn’t been able to stand for several years, but, thanks to the Paragolfer, Archie and his Mum finally got to settle the argument of who was the tallest! Standing eye to eye with your teenage son is something most people take for granted, so this was a great moment to enjoy with the family.”
For many people living with muscle-wasting conditions, keeping active and exercising in whichever way they can is beneficial, and alongside a number of health benefits, can help to maintain or improve range of movement. One attendee commented: “It was brilliant to take part in a sport that was low impact, outdoors with such a social element. It’s rare to find an activity that ticks all those boxes. Cae and the team were so welcoming and encouraging throughout the day, it made all the difference. Thank you to everyone for such a great experience.”
The event came about as a result of Muscular Dystrophy UK Ambassador, Jason Croucher’s interest in golf. The former firefighter was diagnosed with late onset limb-girdle muscular dystrophy in 2018 and has been taking lessons at The Shire for several years.
“On behalf of all our team at Muscular Dystrophy UK, we wanted to say a huge thank you for hosting and facilitating our first accessible golf day,” commented Kyri Photiou, Head of Information, Helpline and Support at Muscular Dystrophy UK. “There were some wonderful and emotional moments. I know many people left the day feeling inspired after seeing how accessible and inclusive golf is, so we are keen to work together again.”