A SPECIAL golf event has celebrated a pioneering scheme in Lancashire.
Clubs across the county have been working with the Stroke Association in Lancashire to deliver Get into Golf sessions.
The sport has been identified as an option for people recovering from a stroke.
Its health and social benefits are seen as positive factors in the rehabilitation process.
A number of people who had taken part in the sessions came together at Mytton Fold Golf Club, which can be found between Blackburn and Preston.
Club support officers for England Golf, covering Lancashire, have been working with local Stroke Association staff to establish a pathway into the sport for stroke survivors.
Says Debbie Barber, from Lancashire GDG: “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.
“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 were on hand to support the 16 players in a six-hole competition out on the course, while a further 20 stroke survivors took part in an indoor putting contest.
Debbie added: “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.”
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.
“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.”
Future plans include the formation of a Stroke Survivors Golf Society for survivors and their support workers.
Further details are available by contacting your local Club Support Officer or the Stroke Association.
Get into golf is a national campaign to inspire adults to take up the game and is run by the England Golf Partnership through its network of County Golf Development Groups, supported by Sport England and National Lottery funding.
Get into golf opportunities include FREE taster sessions and low-cost beginner courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends.
To find your nearest centre visit getintogolf.org and look at the activity map or call 0800 118 2766.
Pictured are John Collins and Ray Brown, from the Bowlee Park Golf Driving Range scheme, Rochdale, and the Rochdale Stroke Association, were winners on the day.