Imagine being given the opportunity to play the sport you love, after years of thinking it would never be possible. Well, our local disability organisation genU Karingal St Laurence is working hard to raise funds to purchase a revolutionary new golf machine that will give people with disability in our region the chance to ‘stand up and play’. You could help out by attending their ‘Stand up and Play’ charity golf day. This event is kindly sponsored by the TAC.

Golf James Gribble from Empower Golf ParaGolfer with bag (002)

The ParaGolfer is a machine that raises the player to a standing position, allowing for a more conventional swing.  It was discovered by James Gribble, who was searching for a way to get back into sports after an accident in 2008 left him a quadriplegic. Having formed the charity Empower Golf, James has now pioneered the use of ParaGolfers in Australia.

“I recently had an individual, who had been wheelchair-bound for over 20 years, in tears after his first session in the ParaGolfer. Not only was he standing upright again after all that time, but returning to his favourite sport, one he thought he had lost forever.”

“Making a ParaGolfer available in the Geelong and wider region will be simply life changing for those who have the opportunity to use it, whether it’s with friends and family, colleagues or establishing new social groups.”

“Golf is the only sport with the unique handicap system which allows individuals to enjoy and compete irrespective of age, gender or ability. It delivers physical, mental and psychological benefits as well as a sense of community which is key for overall health and quality of life. It is also, arguably, the only lifelong sport.”

If you, or someone you know, want to give golf a go, perhaps even for the first time, ParaGolfer will be available to book at no cost through genU Karingal St Laurence in the near future.

To make the purchase of this life-changing machine possible, genU Karingal St Laurence are hosting a ‘Stand up and Play’ charity golf day on Friday May 11th at The Sands, Torquay.  The day will be a celebration of broadening the reach of this sport to all.  If you would like to participate, get your entry in by Wednesday May 9th.

Story: Sarah Treacy Photo: supplied of James Gribble from Empower Golf using the Paragolfer.