A number of survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing and others who have suffered severe physical and traumatic injuries are being given a chance to return to a game they love: golf. In conjunction with Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and its Back in the Swing Adaptive Golf Program, tournament sponsor Golfsmith is partnering with Nike Golf to custom fit and provide golf clubs, apparel and gear to these courageous individuals so they can make further strides in recovery through golf.
The donation is part of the Deutsche Bank Championship Community Appreciation Day, with the tournament taking place this week at the TPC Boston in Norton, Mass. Today those who have lost limbs and suffered other serious injuries were presented with clubs and the opportunity to test Nike Golf equipment at Golfsmith's interactive Swing Zone at the TPC Boston. Survivors shared their stories at a presentation ceremony and explained how golf is being used as a way to transition to their new life.
Mery Daniels, of Boston's South End, lost her leg as a result of the Boston Marathon bombings. Since April, Mery has focused on her recovery through athletic activities. She commented, "Golf is a game I've always wanted to play. I realize the dedication and challenges I've overcome, and despite my injuries I'm eager to use adaptive golf as a way to rehabilitate and move forward."
Likewise, former University of New Hampshire star football player Muji Karim is determined to not let his injuries slow him down. After barely surviving a fiery car crash on Boston's Storrow Drive in August 2011, Muji emerged from three weeks in a medically-induced coma to find he had sustained burns to 31 percent of his body, resulting in the loss of both of his legs and the four fingers of his left hand, as well as a myriad of additional injuries.
"Golf was something that I always loved to do but I thought I would never play again," he said. "All the support I have been given helps me and allows me to do something that I never believed I would be able to do again and for that I'm grateful."
Said Richard "Rick" Johnson, PGA Golf Professional and Spaulding Adaptive Sports Instructor: "In my work with those recovering from serious injuries, social rehabilitation is just as important as physical rehabilitation, due to emotional and mental stress. For me, golf provides a 360-degree approach that encompasses all aspects of life. It provides me the chance to constantly build on the future as well as an outlet for emotional and physical energy."
"We're thrilled to partner with The Deutsche Bank Championship, Nike Golf and the folks at Spaulding who have played such an integral role in helping these survivors recover and rehabilitate," said Golfsmith President and CEO, Sue Gove. "Everyday in our stores, our goal is to inspire people to enjoy golf. These courageous individuals,however, are the real inspiration. Through their amazing spirit and determination, they show us that golf can have a profound impact both on and off the course."