May 31, 2022 – Toronto, Ontario
Saturday, May 14, 2022, was a very powerful day for adaptive golfers in the British Columbia Fraser Valley Region.
ParaGolf Canada conducted an “all-inclusive” adaptive golf clinic for individuals of various degrees of physical and cognitive abilities at the Chilliwack Golf and Country Club.
The clinic was well attended by individuals with various ParaGolf Canada classifications. Leg and arm differences, visual loss, intellectual, neurological, and spinal cord injuries were represented and experienced together the lifelong values that can be realized through the game of golf.
The day provided participants with the opportunity to develop new skills, strengthen their self-esteem, confidence, and purpose, reduce the effects of PTSD and depression, and expand fellowship and camaraderie.
Dustin Boydell, a Chilliwack resident was instrumental in the organization of this ParaGolf Canada event. Dustin in 2018, was paralyzed from the waist down from an abscess on his vertebrae that was compressing his spinal cord. Dustin has since defied the odds and is now walking and golfing again, in an adaptive way.
“It’s hard to put into words what the day meant to me. As tough as my rehabilitation and journey has been the last few years, as I stood back and watched all the athletes hitting balls with smiles and laughs that filled the range, I felt impacted by how incredibly impressive all of these golfers are,” said Boydell. “I am even more motivated to work more closely with ParaGolf Canada and grow the game for adaptive golfers in Canada.”
Bryan Ewert, General Manager at the Chilliwack Golf Club, and his staff including the Atlas Golf Academy were incredible hosts to this groundbreaking clinic in British Columbia. “One of the biggest barriers for participation of ParaGolfers in Canada to this game is the sense of feeling welcome,” says Keirstead, ParaGolf Canada Founder/CEO. “Bryan and the Chilliwack Golf Club has really taken the lead in British Columbia in creating an environment that is accommodating to the nuances of each participant both on the golf course and in the clubhouse.”
Throughout the day, participants gained a newfound love for the game of golf as they learned how to adapt their game according to their individual physical and cognitive challenges through the instruction of Coach Nitro from the NitroGolf Academy, Connor, and Zach from Atlas Golf Academy, Gilles LeBlanc from Golf Town Langley, and Keirstead.
Golf offers many possibilities to all ages and all potential abilities. It can contribute dramatically to an individual’s emotional and physical well-being, instilling self-confidence and pride in personal achievement.
“Having British Columbia Golf support this ParaGolf Canada clinic was a huge step forward for adaptive golf in Canada. The only way for ParaGolf to flourish is by collaborating with other Provincial Governing Bodies and our National Governing Body,” says Keirstead. “ParaGolf Canada is the leader in raising awareness to the public on how the game of golf is so very therapeutic, not only from a physical perspective but from an emotional perspective in Canada. ParaGolf Canada does look forward to hosting more ParaGolf Canada clinics across this country and partnering with all stakeholders in the game to really show that golf is a game for everyone.”