TOM Hughson wants to push his physical and mental barriers and show others that “anything is possible with hard work and perseverance”.
The Rivervale resident will embark on a gruelling challenge on December 3 where he will handcycle 90km around Perth to coincide with International Day of People with a Disability.
“The challenge is all about raising awareness of Empower Golf Australia; a not-for-profit organisation that uses adaptive equipment to give people living with disabilities the opportunity to play golf – a game which has personally saved my life,” he said.
Wheeling for Empower will start at 8am at Carramar Golf Course with a free come-and-try Empower Golf clinic run by teaching professional Glenn Paul.
Mr Hughson is then expected to arrive at Wembley Golf Course at 11.30am and Point Walter Golf Course by 2.30pm with clinics taking place at both.
He will then finish at the WA Golf Club in Yokine for a demonstration of a ParaGolfer – an all-terrain wheelchair that raises the user into a standing position to allow a more conventional golf swing – followed by an evening function with guest speakers.
“I wanted to complete a challenge that would test me physically and mentally along with showcasing the advances in adaptive equipment like the ParaGolfer,” he said.
“The recumbent handcycle is exactly what I mean and this amazing piece of adaptive equipment uses 100 per cent upper body motion for propulsion, giving people that may have restricted or no movement in the lower half of their body the opportunity to be involved with cycling.”
To prepare, Mr Hughson has been doing strength and cardio training at the gym, physio training and racking up “a lot of miles on the bike”.
“I am dreading the uphill into Wembley Golf Course but lucky I can get off and run a clinic after to give the arms a little rest before the long haul of the 60-plus kilometre to come,” he said.
Mr Hughson is no stranger to challenges having completed others where he has faced his fears, hit 100 golf balls an hour for 12 hours and trekked the Annapurna region of the Himalaya Mountains to raise awareness of mental health and his battle with depression and bipolar disorder.
This time, he hopes to raise $50,000 to buy a ParaGolfer and to establish a sustainable inclusive golf program for around WA.
To donate or to book a spot at a clinic, go to www.empowergolf.com.au.
Tickets to the evening function are from www.trybooking.com/324360.