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01 Oct 2022

Limerick wheelchair user in appeal to help him get back golfing

Limerick paragolfer

Tony Brouder

LIMERICK wheelchair user Tony Brouder has launched a fund-raising drive to help purchase a paramotion - a golf machine for wheelchair users.

The Newcastle West man is almost 15 years in a wheelchair and says that golf fulfills his weekly exercise and social life.

"I am a paraplegic which means I am a fulltime wheelchair user. I became a paraplegic in 2008 following an operation so as you can imagine my whole life was turned upside down," recalled Bouder.

"I had to learn to live in a completely different way. I started looking at other ways to exercise and socialise, and golf seemed the perfect answer, so I started researching disabled golf and the paragolfer golf machine (which is now called a paramotion) was perfect for me. The only stumbling block was the price which as with all disabled equipment is very expensive but a local businessman came to my aid and arranged the finance anonymously for me. As with everything it has a life span and unfortunately it has come to its end," he outlined.

Brouder has identified an ex-demo model that has come up for sale but at a cost of €22,000.

"If you are a golfer yourself you can imagine what it would be like if you woke up one day and realised that you couldn't go out for a game again. That is what it is like for me at the minute only it is more than that for me - what people don't realise is that it is not just a machine for me to go out for a game of golf, it is the only way that I get out to socialise with other people now apart from family members as the only place I go is out to the golf club on a Thursday and a Sunday. I haven't been able to go golfing for the past month, and I know this might not sound very long to most people, but I haven't had any face-to-face conversations with anyone since I was last at the golf course apart from family members," said Brouder.

"The exercise side is also essential for upper body movement and for putting me in the standing position so I can get better blood flow to my legs which is very important for paraplegics. I also use it for doing jobs around the house such as strimming the grass, washing the windows or power washing."

Brouder has set up a GoFundMe page to try help off-set the cost of the paramotion. Further information and donations can be made here

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