Just-For-Smiles-Golf-with disability

Golf and handicaps have taken on a whole new meaning.

A couple of weeks ago, at the picturesque Vuissens Golf Club, nestled in the lush rolling countryside of Switzerland, two atypical golfers, Guillaume and Quentin, were a sensation.

Guillaume (15) is paralyzed from the waist down and Quentin (15) has severe motor-impairment affecting his entire his body. Wheelchair-bound, both teenagers have now been able to realize one of their dreams: to play golf.

Just-for-Smiles-golf-disabled golfers

Guillaume putting on the green

Taking a few warm-up shots, and some guidance from the Just for Smiles Golf Pro, Lavinia, they both managed to pitch from the driving range and putt on the practice green, sinking putts after only a couple of tries.

Parents, friends, and fans applauded wildly.

“It’s unbelievable, it almost looks like it’s innate for him. I must admit he does comes from a family of golfers. Maybe it’s in his genes!” beamed Veronique, proud mother of Guillaume.

Harnessed securely onto an electric wheelchair which is adapted to allow severely immobile golfers to play standing, Guillaume and Quentin proved to the other golfers that they would soon be fully integrated into this sport which has seen only a few people with disabilities venture into this elite sport.

Just-for-Smiles-golf with handicap

Quentin and Lavinia

Even their pro that day, Lavinia Floris, and the orthopedic technician Christophe were amazed.

This is fantastic! I didn’t think they would be so gifted,” admits Thomas Rosenfield, amateur golfer and organizer of the first Golf Activity Day on behalf of the Just for Smiles Foundation.

“The goal of Just for Smiles is total integration of people with disabilities into the golfing world, nothing less,” states Rosenfield

“We are hoping to break the barriers so that public and private golf courses are open to all. More than ever, I am convinced that golf can have therapeutic value. More participants combined with scientific studies will prove it.” Rosenfield continued.

An opinion shared by Didier Baert, president of the Rotary Club of Yverdon. His club has donated 20,000 Swiss francs to Just for Smiles to seed this activity, “Golf requires concentration; one must watch the ball and control a precise movement. While important for everyone, I believe it is especially useful for those with neurological disorders.”

Just-for-Smiles-golf-activity

Guillaume and Lavinia

“Golf is an ideal complement to the other sports that we offer to young people: boating, hiking and skiing. They are accustomed to living between four walls. Some have never felt the feeling of the wind in their hair or sunshine in their face,” added another Just for Smiles representative, Eric Joye.

This first golf activity day for Just for Smiles is a great start. And as if part of the Foundation’s logo itself, Guillaume and Quentin smiled all day from ear to ear. So did everyone else.

This blog post was inspired by an article which appeared in the Swiss newspaper 24 Heures on May 5, 2011, written by Céline Duruz. Photograph credits go to Jean-Paul Guinnard, a photograpgher for the same newspaper. Our sincere thanks to both of them.


*The G-Team is made up of those inspirational and pioneering golfers who make this game even better than it is already. Your nominations are open.

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rental mobil jakarta May 30, 2011

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Fore! | bettermobilityforlife.com May 30, 2011

[…] The sport of golf is an acquired taste as it requires a lot of time, practice and energy to walk the green from hole to hole. Well, for two 15-year old boys, the love of golf just comes naturally. Guillaume who is paralyzed from the waist down and Quentin who has a severe motor-impairment were only too happy to tee off in Switzerland. With the help of an electric wheelchair that allows the teens to play standing, and the help of Just for Smiles foundation, they were able to fulfill their dream of playing golf. Just for Smiles is a not-for-profit organization established to help poly-handicapped people access various open-air activities. Organizations such as these allow children with disabilities to experience something they thought they never could on their own. Just for smiles connects them with network of motivated professionals who are present to help them every step of the way. To read more about Guillaume and Quentin’s experience click here. […]

2

Fore! | bettermobilityforlife.com May 30, 2011

[…] The sport of golf is an acquired taste as it requires a lot of time, practice and energy to walk the green from hole to hole. Well, for two 15-year old boys, the love of golf just comes naturally. Guillaume who is paralyzed from the waist down and Quentin who has a severe motor-impairment were only too happy to tee off in Switzerland. With the help of an electric wheelchair that allows the teens to play standing, and the help of Just for Smiles foundation, they were able to fulfill their dream of playing golf. Just for Smiles is a not-for-profit organization established to help poly-handicapped people access various open-air activities. Organizations such as these allow children with disabilities to experience something they thought they never could on their own. Just for smiles connects them with network of motivated professionals who are present to help them every step of the way. To read more about Guillaume and Quentin’s experience click here. […]

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