Programs to assist those with disabilities who are interested in golf and other activities have come a long way thanks to innovations like the Para Mobile. Just ask Janet Phillips, LPGA/PGA Professional and co-owner of the Windy Hill Sports Complex in Midlothian Virginia. Some 20 years ago, Janet and Alison Clarke, of the Sheltering Arms Rehabilitation Center, partnered up to offer golf as an activity for the wheelchair bound. The combination of Sheltering Arms Therapists, numerous volunteers, The Windy Hill Facility and Phillips’ golf instruction proved successful and continued to grow each year. But something was missing. In 2009, that missing piece surfaced in the name of Anthony Netto, inventor of the Para Mobile. Netto, an aspiring golf professional, was injured in an automobile accident in 1992 and left a quadriplegic.
Determined to use his arms once again, he did overcome that obstacle but remains a paraplegic. More importantly, he set out to design a mobile unit that would allow the wheelchair bound to stand and be able to once again strike the golf ball. He did exactly that and today the Para Mobile is recognized as one of the best, if not the best, all terrain battery operated “assist” vehicles available. Netto is up and playing once again. More important than that to Netto, in 2010 he founded the Stand Up and Play Foundation and formally launched his personal mission to provide the ability to stand to anyone who is motivated to get out of their wheelchair. He along with his invention, the Para Mobile, were just what Phillips and Clarke needed to complete their program in Richmond.
The Richmond Chapter of the Stand Up and Play Foundation is viewed by many a model for Adaptive Golf in that it contains the necessary components to serve amputees, paraplegics, stroke, MS and ALS victims as well as individuals in recuperation from accidents and surgery. The monthly clinics are held at Windy Hill and are a combination of practice and on course play. “We now have our fourth Para Mobile and are always looking for ways to bring more challenged golfers, both old and new to the game” says Phillips. The clinics attract upwards of 35 to 40 challenged participants and family members in support. Alison Clarke remarks that “when you have the right facility, the dedicated volunteers and professional staffs of our organizations and now the Stand Up and Play Foundation helping provide the Para Mobiles, we can do so much for so many!”
If you are interested in forming a chapter in your area contact Janet Phillips at Windy Hill (804-794-0010) firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the web site at www.standupandplay.com We welcome the opportunity to provide as much guidance as possible.