by Paul Sheerin
Eight years ago I was diagnosed with testicular cancer which unfortunately spread to my stomach resulting in me undergoing nine gruelling weeks of chemotherapy at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow.
The care and attention I received while going through my treatment was second to none and it was then I knew I wanted to give back. Shortly after, when fit again, I began to volunteer with the Beatson Cancer Charity and took part in fundraising events organised by the charity.
In late 2016 I decided I wanted to do my own fundraiser, something big and something different. Thinking outside the box I wanted to do something that had never been done before. I along with my father in law & brothers in law went for a round of footgolf at our local course in Cumbernauld and immediately I thought this was it. This was the fundraiser that I should plan, it was then that BeatsonFootGolf was born.
I contacted Nigel Smith at the course and he appreciated what I wanted my day to look like. I have always had a very overactive imagination and thought of many ideas on what could be done on the day.
The first thing needed was teams and with the help of some friends and family there was immediately 10 teams signing up. Over the next few days we set up some social media pages and within a few weeks the footgolf tournament was sold out with 20 teams declaring interest. This was absolutely amazing and the date was set for the 13th May 2017.
To help raise more funds I began to look for raffle prizes and individual flag sponsors who would see their company name or logo on a flag for a donation. Again there was such a great response that the 18 flags were snapped up. The day was set, all we needed now was the weather on our side. The whole week up to the event the sun was splitting the skies, but unfortunately on the actual day the heavens opened up. Not to be outdone by the weather the day went ahead and what a day it was. The first ever tournament raised an incredible £6,324.93.
To add to the quirkiness, we had a 19th hole at the course which consisted of a pie and beer for each player. This went down so well that it has become a permanent feature of the footgolf day.
Having done this event every year since 2017 with exception of last year due to the pandemic we have raised in the excess of £14,000. We have had many supporters and sponsors who come back each year which is absolutely brilliant and each year we always look to improve on the year before.
I remain very hopeful that that this years event will go ahead on Sunday 9th May and we are once again close to being sold out again. Despite not being able to gather before or after the tournament I am certain that this year will be a huge success again. To help us raise funds every player will be given a couple of football scratch cards to sell.
I look forward to many more BeatsonFootGolf days in the years to come.