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England and Wales (North) Region

Stroke survivors tee off in Crewe

10 May 16


A PGA pro has been delivering coaching sessions to stroke survivors as part of the Stroke Association’s national awareness month.

Alex Heler (centre) from the Ian Woosnam Academy has been putting nine stroke victims through their paces at the Malkins Bank Golf Course in Sandbach.

His efforts are part of an initiative by the Crewe branch of the Stroke Association which has teamed up with England Golf to provide golf courses for stroke survivors in the area.

The first of two Get into golf five-week courses is running (until Wednesday 18 May) during the Stroke Association’s national awareness month: Make May Purple.

A second Get into golf course for local stroke survivors will run in June due to the popularity of the first sessions.

Hilary Belshaw, the Stroke Association’s information, advice and support coordinator, said:  “More people than ever before are surviving a stroke. But many stroke survivors tell us that after all the effort to save their lives they then feel isolated when they return home.

“The golf course provides an opportunity for stroke survivors to meet others who are also experiencing a life after stroke, benefit from exercise, build their confidence and enjoy learning new skills. We’re thrilled the first course has been so popular and would encourage stroke survivors across South Cheshire to get in touch should they like to get involved.”

The Get into golf programme has been specifically tailored to stroke survivors and participants are asked to contribute £10 to the five-week course. Each week there is an hour’s coaching and all equipment is provided.

Sean Hammill, county officer for the Cheshire Golf Development Group, which has been working with the Stroke Association to deliver the golf coaching session, added: “Golf offers a great rehabilitation pathway to stroke survivors as it gives them the chance to build up their physical activity gradually, develop new skills and increase their overall confidence in a social environment which will encourage those taking part to return and continue.

“Malkins Banks offers all the right facilities for newcomers to the sport and the club was keen to support this initiative. The sessions have been delivered by PGA professional Alex Heller, from the Ian Woosnam Academy, and the response has been fantastic and we look forward to seeing those taking part continuing to make progress in their recovery and enjoying the long-term health benefits golf can bring.”

The Stroke Association is calling on everyone to sign up to Make May Purple in 2016.

During the month of May, the charity is raising awareness of the impact of stroke, and sharing information and advice on how to help prevent the condition across the country.

For further information about the Get into golf programme, please contact Hilary Belshaw on 01270 589 168 or email

Get into golf is a national campaign to inspire new golfers run by the PGA backed England Golf through its county network.

Opportunities include beginner and follow-on courses with PGA professionals.

They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends. Lessons can cost as little as £25 for a five-week course.

To find your nearest centre visit and look at the activity map or call 0800 118 2766. Follow Get into golf on Twitter or on Facebook at

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