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Lancaster captains give massive boost to Battle Back charity

By David Birtill

JO O’NEIL and Chris Foster have raised an impressive £10,771 for charity during their term as of Lancaster Golf Club captains.

The money has been handed to Battle Back Golf, a tri service programme that uses adaptive sport as part of the rehabilitation process for injured service men and women.

“We chose it so our members could relate to what these incredible people were working hard at to achieve,” explained Jo.

“I set myself three challenges at the beginning of the year that would push me beyond my physical, emotional and mental limits in an attempt to experience a modicum of what BBG go through on a daily basis.

The first challenge was to cycle on static bikes the distance from Lancaster Golf Club to the Royal & Ancient HQ at St Andrews.

“We completed this in six and a half hours, cycling 520 miles with some assistance from members during the day,” said Jo.

“We then played 100 consecutive holes in a day and again I was joined by a different member for each 18 holes, starting at 4.15am and finishing at 9.28pm. Four of the BBG team joined us on the day and played 36 holes in buggies.

“Two of them had one arm and the other two had one leg between them. As you can appreciate it was a most humbling and positive experience.”

The final challenge was the most difficult of all – a 100km walk in a day.

Jo added: “Although I had been training for 12 months it did not prepare me for the walls I hit along the way. I was joined by family members and friends, and army officers who paced me, and completed our distance in just over 18 and a half hours.

“It was a great achievement, but no euphoria, just exhaustion.”

Retired Major Grenadier Guards and Battle Back Golf captain Bernie Broad, who lost both legs in conflict, with Lancaster Golf Club’s retiring captains Jo O’Neill and Chris Foster.