British Inclusive Golf and its members would like to wish Joseph Vanaman from Kirkby in Ashfield the very best on his new adventure he starts at the end of August. Joseph has been granted a men’s Golf scholarship at The University of Massachusetts in America where he will be studying Electrical Engineering. The university has just been promoted to the Division 1 level in their region so it will certainly be a challenge for Joseph in the coming year.
Joseph has Asperger syndrome that causes difficulty in forming social relationships and in communicating. When we first met Joseph at Dewsbury Golf Club in 2012 he sat with a baseball cap over his eyes, but now he stands tall and integrates with his fellow golfers this partly down to the friendship he has formed with other disabled golfers in the various organisations that Joseph plays with.
At times Joseph has come across discrimination when some people within disabled golf think that anyone with ASD (Autism Spectrum disorder) are not disabled because their disability cannot be seen, as anyone who knows that’s close to Autism this is not true, Autism can be very cruel at times and nobody actually knows how an individual is feeling, it can be a very lonely, frustrating and isolating.
Thankfully because of his strong family support and his many friends Joseph continued to play golf and grow in stature, his golf handicap has slowly been reduced and he now plays off 6.
When Joseph was younger he would get his father out of bed early sometimes before 6am so that he could be on the golf course his way of dealing with Asperger, of course this has now paid dividends with the scholarship at UMASS. We all wish Joseph a successful time and hope that he meets many new friends and that his golf will prosper, we are all looking forward to hearing from you on Facebook about your progress, and also look forward to seeing you again playing golf with your many friends within the disabled golfing world. Safe Journey and “GOODLUCK”
We held a Golf Day on behalf of Joseph at Bondhay on 8th August Click here for full report.