Cologne, Germany – On World Stroke Day on the 10th of May, Germany launched an initiative “shot versus shot” which stands for golf playing for people who suffered from strokes.
The Deutsche equivalent for “stroke” is “schlaganfall” from which the initiative’s name was inspired. Hundreds of people who suffered and survived strokes will participate in the Project of Golf Partner (PGP) at the Clarenhof golf course in Frechen, one of Cologne’s suburbs.
The golf rounds will kick off on May 20 with the free participation of around 300 patients who suffer from disabilities and paralysis. The participants will be divided in groups to play under the surveillance of golf professionals. The project aims to improve the movements of muscles for those who suffer from paralysis resulting from cerebral hemorrhage or strokes.
Winni Bellinghausen, specialized in medical sports said Golf revives many physical functions eliminated by the stroke-led paralysis.
Patients can choose between wooden and steel bats, and can also play using their right or left hands in order to improve arms’ movement. Golf combines sports and amusement, especially when a patient plays with his spouse or friend.
Golf is a curative game that plays an important role on the long term in preventing possible future strokes, according to Bellinghausen.
Hega Brandshtein said a stroke paralyzed her left leg and that she is currently walking with the help of an external metal frame. But by playing golf, she learned how to walk by herself. She added that her left hand’s performance improved despite the paralysis of her right arm.
According to the ministry of health’s statistics, over 270,000 German citizens suffer from strokes annually, and that a third of them die one year later because of the complications that follow the stroke. As per survivors (70% of stroke patients), often suffer from permanent symptoms like hemiplegia or paralysis in one of their limbs.