One person who won’t let disability get in the way of playing golf is Aimi Bullock, 43, from Surrey.
An active sportswoman throughout her life, Aimi was forced to stop playing hockey eight years ago due to a bout of optic neuritis that left her with impaired vision. Unable to play several of her favourite sports as a result, Aimi channelled her energy into golf – a sport she had first played in her early twenties.
After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2013, Aimi refused to let the condition alter her life and competitive nature, competing in the Ride London-Surrey in both 2013 and 2014. Playing golf became a way for Aimi to continue playing competitive sport, even during the worst bouts of her illness.
Aimi said: “It was tough not being able to play hockey when I had my optic neuritis eight years ago, but being able to play golf and keep playing a competitive sport was fantastic. I try and do something golf related twice a week just to stay active and keep myself feeling good. I can’t always play 18 holes twice a week so will play nine or go to the driving range.”
Aimi tries to play as much as her health allows, but can still find it difficult to play a full 18 holes at times. Her neurologist is encouraging Aimi to play golf regularly as it helps keep her active and the competitive nature of sport helps her cope mentally with the effects of her condition.
“I love competing against my friends or in competitions at Woking Golf Club and Sunningdale Ladies' Golf Clubs, but I got involved with competitive disability golf for the first time this summer. I signed up to play in the European Individual Championships in the Czech Republic, finishing in third place. I’ll definitely look to playing more disabled golf tournaments.”
??"Golf is a great sport for disabled people as anyone can play. It isn’t as demanding on your body compared with other sports. It’s a great way to keep playing competitive sport and stay sharp physically and mentally.”
Dr David Schley from the MS Society said: “MS is an unpredictable condition but research suggests that exercise can help manage symptoms, such as fatigue, as well as improve the overall health of people with MS. It’s really important to find an exercise that works for you and you’re more likely to stick with it if it’s something you enjoy and find worthwhile. There’s plenty of information and support out there on exercising with MS, including on the MS Society’s website.”
Visit www.getintogolf.org to find out about beginner courses, taster lessons and special events at clubs and ranges nationwide.
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