MBE for former Thanet pupil who set up golf rehab charity for veterans

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The benefits of getting out on the links can play a key part in physical rehabilitation and psychological recovery

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By InYourArea Community


Wearing a leg brace hasn’t held back avid golfer John Simpson | Photo: Mary Turner/Getty Images

Submitted by Kenneth Nickoll

The founder of a sports rehabilitation charity has been awarded an MBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

John Simpson is founder and president of the On Course Foundation. The charity was built on the belief that golf has the ability to aid recovery – both physically and mentally – of injured military personnel.

John was brought up in Thanet and attended St Lawrence College in Ramsgate, while his parents owned the Castle Keep Hotel in Kingsgate, Broadstairs, for many years.

Following childhood polio, John only has one good leg but has played golf since a young age. He went on to manage sportsmen such as Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Greg Norman and Sebastian Coe at IMG.

In 2010 John set up the On Course Foundation which is the UK’s only golf specific military charity. He believed that the game and the golfing industry offered huge opportunities for wounded servicemen, women and veterans.

It is one of the few sports where participants of all skills and physical abilities can play together on a level playing field owing to the official handicap system.

The benefits of playing golf offer a key part in physical rehabilitation, improving both balance and limb coordination. Camaraderie, competitive spirit and concentration are important too, supporting psychological recovery.

In addition, military personnel face the daunting challenge of finding employment after leaving the Services but golf can offer an array of attractive career opportunities.

To find out more about the charity visit their website here.

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