James personifies what Sargood stands for: he is passionate, positive and extremely good fun. In 2008, Sydney boy James was in Africa waiting to go Tiger fishing on the mighty Zambezi River when he started to feel faint. He was dehydrated from a run he’d been on earlier that day and passed out whilst sitting on a stool, falling backward onto hard sand.
The result of this seemingly innocuous occurrence was catastrophic. The impact of the fall severely bruised his spinal cord and broke his C4 and C5 vertebrae, leaving him with voluntary movement only from his shoulders up. Due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the location, it was 30 hours before James reached fully qualified medical care. This delay worsened his condition by causing fluid to collect in his lungs, leading to respiratory complications. Prior to his injury, James was a very handy golfer with a handicap of four.
On the evening of his accident and the subsequent evenings, James would pick his favourite course and play it in his mind, shot by shot, hole by hole. This was a technique that calmed him down, whilst reinforcing just how important the game was to him. A few years on, James founded Empower Golf, which facilitates and promotes golf for less able Australians. James is an advocate for golf to be included in the Paralympic Games and knowing James, we’re pretty sure he’ll make it happen.
Empower Golf recently partnered with The Sargood Foundation to bring a Paragolfer, a German designed cart that provides people with Quadriplegia and Paraplegia the opportunity to play golf again, to Long Reef Golf Club, which is great news for Sargood on Collaroy guests and the less-abled population. James brings a wonderful positive can-do energy to Sargood. He’s a team player with not only endless enthusiasm, but also a quick wit and cheeky sense of humour.
The Sargood Foundation presents a unique opportunity for spinal injured individuals and their families to benefit from collaboration and communication in a relaxed, supported and interactive setting