Martine and Heather Gilks played in Turin, during Giovanni Nasi & DiaSorin International.
Martine and Heather Gilks, statements
Martine and Heather, mother and daughter, come from the English West Midlands, to be precise their club is Coventry Golf Club.
Each of them has a disability: Martine has osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia which cause her chronic pain and fatigue; Heather has cerebral palsy. Both have found in golf the strength to react to illness and improve their quality of life.
Martine says: “I think it's very easy to cut yourself off, stay at home and do nothing. There are days when I go to my club to play and, honestly, I suffer so much, I tell myself it would be better to stay at home, but I force myself to go out, to go, I already know that then I will feel better.
Being outdoors, socializing with other people ... the benefits I receive are immense also for my mental health. It doesn't matter if my golf is absolutely horrible! " Martine and Heather enjoy playing together and often compete against each other, as happened at Giovanni Nasi & Diasorin International.
Martine continues: “I think this is one of the great things of golf. You don't see the differences… we play golf and that's what matters. I think this aspect is the most fascinating part of our sport ”.
Heather talks about her cerebral palsy: “I have cerebral palsy, which affects both my legs and my left arm. It affects my left side more than the right. She was diagnosed with me when I was about three. I have done a lot of physical therapy since I was little and am continuing even now.
At the moment I'm trying to test my limits and see what I can and can't do. " “I hate not being treated like everyone else. For example, I tried running. I always got tired long before everyone else, then people would say, "Oh, you just need a head start."
But I don't want a head start. I came to play golf, thanks to the handicap system, using a golfcar, I can go out and play just like everyone else. And this, this very concept, I loved! " Heather's level of play is still progressing and improving.
Thanks to her, EDGA, she participated in the Rose Ladies Series event in Woburn in May 2021, along with other EDGA players Aimi Bullock and Nicky Weeks. Heather Gilks also finished well at Giovanni Nasi & Diasorin International: first classified in the 'Under 21' category, and second overall in the net strokeplay classification.
I ask Heather what she feels like recommending to those who still don't play golf: “Golf is worth the time and represents a challenge that is passionate about. I go to school and my friends tell me - hey wait, do you play golf? And I say - Yes, I play golf.
And I love it. It is a great sport. And it is a pity that many do not understand this. I mean, the numbers in the UK are increasing especially when it comes to young people, but they should be a lot more. Once you try it, then you realize and say 'I should have started sooner!' So, my main advice is, go and try it because then you will fall in love with it. "