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."
Muji, who is committed to reaching out to help others who also have undergone traumatic injuries, has also met with survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings who will now rehabilitate themselves through golf.
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."
For Golfsmith, the world's largest golf retailer, helping people enjoy the game of golf is a welcome opportunity.
"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."
About the Deutsche Bank Championship
The Deutsche Bank Championship, New England's premier PGA TOUR Playoff event held over Labor Day weekend, will welcome 100 of the PGA TOUR's top golfers to TPC Boston in Norton, Mass. The Championship, now in its 11th year, has raised more than $24 million for the Tiger Woods Foundation, which supports underserved students through educational programs, and local New England-area charities. Details on all ticket options are available at www.dbchampionship.com. Fans can also follow the latest news surrounding the Deutsche Bank Championship on the official social media sites: www.facebook.com/DeutscheBankChampionship and www.twitter.com/DBChampionship.
About Golfsmith International:
Golfsmith International, based in Austin, TX, is the largest specialty golf retailer in the world operating Golfsmith stores in the U.S. and Golf Town stores in Canada. The business operates as an integrated, multi-channel retailer, offering customers the convenience of shopping through any of its 150+ experiential retail locations or 24/7 shopping at its e-commerce sites, www.golfsmith.com and www.golftown.com. Golfsmith International offers extensive product selection of premier branded golf equipment as well as its proprietary products, club-making components and pre-owned clubs.
About Spaulding Rehabilitative Hospital/Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers/Back in the Swing Adaptive Golf Program
Founded in 1971, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston is one of the largest rehabilitation facilities in the United States, and is ranked the 6th top rehabilitation hospital in the country by U.S. News & World Report. As the official teaching hospital of the Harvard Medical School Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), Spaulding is at the forefront of research in advances in rehabilitative care. Spaulding Rehab treated 32 marathon survivors as well as hundreds of those who suffer severe trauma each year. On April 27, 2013, Spaulding opened new 132-bed facility in Charlestown which is national model for environmental and inclusive design.
Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers operate in Boston, Cape Cod, and the North Shore and provide a range of sports and recreation opportunities, including water sports, skiing, horseback riding, tennis, and golf. The Back in the Swing Adaptive Golf program (BITS) pairs golf pros with trained therapists who ensure both a safe experience and maximum physical benefit. The BITS program is designed to help people with disabilities learn or re-learn the game of golf. With a wide range of inpatient programs and 23 outpatient centers throughout Eastern Massachusetts, Spaulding strives to continually update and improve its programs to offer patients the latest, high-quality care through its leading, expert providers. For more information, please visit www.spauldingrehab.org
Lynn Luczkowski, L2 Communications 860-313-1426 or Lynn@L2comm.biz
Rachel Rees, PR Manager Tiger Woods Foundation rrees@TigerWoodsFoundation.Org or phone: 949.725.3003
Tim Sullivan, Communications Director, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital firstname.lastname@example.org 617-952-5325