More than 100 golfers gathered at the Vardon Golf Course on Monday for the third annual Prairie Grit Adaptive Sports golf scramble. All of the money raised goes toward maintaining the two ParaGolfers at the course. We introduce you to a golfer who wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to hit the green, if it weren’t for the ParaGolfer.
“It’s all about having fun, being healthy, being part of something that maybe you didn’t have a chance to be before,” said Chad Thompson, Palmer’s dad.
Prairie Grit Adaptive Sports gives kids, and adults, the opportunity to play sports they may not have been able to in the past.
Like 9-year-old Palmer Thompson who has spina bifida.
In the past, he could golf from his wheelchair. But now, with the help of a ParaGolfer, Palmer’s game has gotten even better.
“People that have disabilities can do this. My mom and dad, they got the para-golfer so people that have disabilities like me can use it,” Palmer said.
Golfers are strapped in at the waist, knees and chest. The cart can go all over the course — even on the green. It raises up so the golfer can be in a standing position.
“When I was a little kid like Palmer, it probably wouldn’t have been possible for me. So, that’s why it’s really important to have these two golf carts out here and getting the kids out here to experience this. It really means a lot to me because I didn’t get the chance when I was younger to play some sports and now we’re getting the chance to do this and it’s really exciting,” said Drew Hanson, fundraising director, Prairie Grit Adaptive Sports.
Fundraisers like the golf scramble have made it possible for Prairie Grit to purchase other adaptive equipment for sports like basketball, tennis, soccer and even track and field.
Now, there are more and more opportunities for athletes of all abilities, to be a part of the team.
“The fact that we can do anything that you guys can do, if you’re not in a wheelchair, we can do the same things you can. We just have to do it a little differently and adapt,” Hanson said.
“All the families in the Minot area and North Dakota, frankly, have chances that maybe they would’ve never had. So, getting to see that, getting to be a part of that, it fills you up for sure, right here,” Chad said.
This is the first fundraiser Prairie Grit Adaptive Sports has been able to do so since COVID-19 hit North Dakota. It had to cancel the first-ever sled-hockey tournament in April.