Paragolfer

Jonathan Hobbs gets to grips with the Paragolfer. Pic: Steve Pope Fotowales.

Paragolfer Wheelchair Backed To Transform Disabled Golf In South Wales

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By Hannah Blackwell

Golf is opening up to disabled people across Wales thanks to a new all-terrain wheelchair that raises players to a safe standing position.

The “Paragolfer” lifts and supports the user over the ball, allowing the golfer to make a safe swing and connect with the ball.

The all-terrain vehicle has been sponsored in a partnership between Cardiff-headquartered company Paramount and the disabled golf charity, The Golf Trust.

It was recently introduced to local disabled people at a special event hosted by The Golf Trust at The Vale of Glamorgan Golf Club.

The Paragolfer is supported by Paramount’s chief executive officer, and new captain of the Vale of Glamorgan Golf Club, Richard Jones.

Jonathan Hobbs was one attendee that Paramount’s regional manager and former professional tour golfer Paul Doherty, was keen to introduce to golf for the first time.

Paragolfer Jonathan Hobbs (centre) with Vale of Glamorgan captain Richard Jones (left) and friend Paul Doherty (r) . Pic: Steve Pope
Fotowales

Sixteen years ago, Hobbs had an accident that left him paralysed and he has used a wheelchair ever since.

The Paragolfer enabled him to stand for the first time since then and allowed the friends to play golf together, face-to-face.

“I am lucky to have played golf for all of my life and enjoy the health benefits associated with the sport and equally I recognise that participating in recreational sport is just as important for disabled people,” said Jones.

“What is so impressive about the Paragolfer is that it provides a unique experience for wheelchair users who are able to stand and play alongside able-bodied people.

“It provides users with significant mental, physical and social benefits and I would love to see one here in Wales on a permanent basis.”

With enquiries coming in from at least 15 local disabled people on the back of the first event, there are already plans in place for The Golf Trust to host another day with Paramount, which is based on the St Mellons business park, at the Vale of Glamorgan course this summer.

Future plans include fundraising to bring the Paragolfer to Wales on a permanent basis.

The machine was also sponsored by Vale of Glamorgan-based HVAC Mechanical Specialists S&G Air Conditioning.

Managing director Paul Copner said: “I was first told about the Paragolfer wheelchair and the amazing work of the Golf Trust by Richard and Paul.

“Sharing a keen interest in the sport, and having worked closely with Paramount for many years, we felt it would be a fantastic opportunity for S&G to support an incredibly worthwhile event.”

Paragolfer The Paragolfer in the regular wheelchair position. Pic: Steve Pope.

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