North Battleford’s Ron Inkster cannot wait to get back on the golf course. Thanks to SaskSport’s ‘Adaptive Sport Grants‘ and Golf Saskatchewan Inkster can utilize a new SoloRider cart that will be housed at the North Battleford Golf and Country Club (NBGCC).
Inkster was on hand on Wednesday at the club when Golf Saskatchewan delivered their third cart of the provincial fleet. He was an avid golfer at the NBGCC before Multiple sclerosis began to limit his mobility six years ago. However, with the SoloRider at his home course Inkster was able to swing again.
“It’s very good, it seems very good to drive,” he said after testing the one-person cart out. “Hitting will take a little bit of practice but at this point in time that’s what I will do is practice.”
Inkster admits he was never a competitive player but enjoyed playing the game on a social level. His wife Zelda was on hand for the delivery and stated it will be great for Ron to get “back with the boys.” Inkster could not hide his excitement for a return to the links as well.
“I have been more a social golfer, and this will be helpful for me to go out with people once in a while, hit the ball, and hopefully not lose too much money,” Inkster joked.
Golf Saskatchewan has a SoloRider at the Silverwood Golf Course in Saskatoon, and the other is available for use at the Royal Regina Golf Club. NBGCC head professional Dana Johnson said he’s excited for Inkster and others to have the option of the cart at his club.
“It makes me so happy for a gentleman like Ron who missed the game of golf for so many years unfortunately and now he’s able to take part again, I am so proud to see him out and I’m so happy for him. You can see the gleam in his eye, he has that golf bug back, it’s great,” Johnson said.
Brian Lee is the executive director of Golf Saskatchewan. He seconded the notion of Inkster’s excitement after the test run of the SoloRider.
“It’s basically a rejoining of some resemblance of normal for a number of folks that may have thought golf was over or time with their friends and family were gone, now this gives them an opportunity to come back. It may not be exactly the way they used to play but they get to be part of the game. Hopefully this will be used at the NBGCC for years and decades to come,” he said.
Randall Kaeys with Spinal Cord Injury Saskatchewan Inc. He added how important initiatives such as the SoloRider placement is too people with injuries.
“Adaptive technologies – like the SoloRider – allow persons with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities to stay active within the community, and to continue with activities that may have been enjoyed pre-injury. These adaptive technologies also allow individuals with SCI and other physical disabilities to enjoy new experiences and participate in inclusive activities,” he said.
The SoloRider is available for other clubs in the region to utilize, the same for the carts in Saskatoon and Regina. Anyone interested in more details or availability of the SoloRiders can call Golf Saskatchewan at 306.975.0850.