Friday, 10 July 2020

Golfers raise £10,000 for NHS

Golfers raise £10,000 for NHS

THE captain of Reading Golf Club has raised £10,000 for the NHS by playing golf continuously from dawn to dusk.

John Rusby, 65, and his wife Hilary teed off at the Emmer Green club at 4.40am on Wednesday last week and finished at 9pm when they played their 100th hole.

The couple walked in excess of 27 miles around the course for the equivalent of more than five-and-a-half rounds of golf and 500 shots.

Mr Rusby, of Balmore Park, Caversham, said he wanted to take on a challenge to raise funds for NHS Charities Together and the staff fighting covid-19.

He said: “Every day in lockdown we’re hearing about all the heroes and I looked at my wife and said, ‘We have got to do something. I’m captain of the club, I’ve got to make a difference’.

“We felt we had to do something different, something a little bit special, and we had to have something of a major challenge because of what all the NHS heroes are doing.

“Despite the extremely hot weather, fatigue and blisters, we were determined to complete the challenge.

“We had wonderful support from all the members and staff, in particular the greenkeepers at both Reading and Caversham Heath Golf Clubs. It was certainly a day to remember and an honour to undertake this on behalf of Reading Golf Club.”

Mr Rusby said two club members had been seriously ill after contracting coronavirus and treated in hospital.

He said: “Fortunately, they both recovered but without our NHS heroes it could have been a different story.”

To prepare for the challenge, the couple undertook a training programme which involved walking around the course many times, clocking up more than 125 miles in total.

On VE Day they walked 45 holes — about 10 miles — carrying Union flags to commemorate the end of the Second World War in Europe.

When the club re-opened on Wednesday last week, Mr Rusby allowed the honour of the first drive to be taken by member Dr John Smiddy, who works in the intensive care unit at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.

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