On Saturday 29th April, we set off on a sponsored walk – a 5.5-mile circular walk from Chestfield Golf Club.
The aim was to raise money for golf kit that will get our former chairman Darren Bovis out playing golf again, after a 2019 injury paralysed him.
Members, family, friends, children and dogs joined in, making our 40-strong group quite a sight as the route took us through Chestfield, into Tankerton, along the seafront, through the caravan parks and back up to the golf club.
Three wheelchairs were also taken, giving members an idea of the challenges faced by wheelchair users in simple tasks such as crossing roads, turning, or going uphill. Three collection buckets were filled up with donated change and online donations were made too, using the QR codes on T-shirts, flyers and collection buckets.
The event raised 10% of the £25,000 needed to buy the ParaGolf for Darren, who relies on a wheelchair to get around after he was paralysed; an unknown vertebrae injury was aggravated as he raked leaves in his garden and he has been undertaking intense rehabilitation since, to walk again.
He said: “It’s not just playing golf I miss – it’s the social side of it too, and the mental health side of it that you get from being outdoors and enjoying sport. It’s very humbling that so many people want to help raise money for the kit – but having used it once before, I know it will be brilliant. Also, other people will be able to benefit from it too – others with a disability or those who maybe can’t get round a golf course easily due to age or mobility. It won’t just be for my use.”
Current chairman Mark Isom said: “It was a great day and we had a lot of support on the way too – people were very generous. The golf kit will add something back in to Darren’s life; we’ve seen him use it and it just opens up that world for him again – we can’t wait to see him have his own.”
ABG aim to raise £10,000 towards the kit and are planning more events later this year.