Adaptive Golf & Rehabilitation for People with Disabilities – Filips Bernadskis & Santa Trofimova

Golf is not a top sport in Latvia. However, it is being used therapeutically by the Latvian Spinal Cord Injury Society (LSCIS) in their work around using ‘adaptive golf’ as part of rehabilitation.

The LSCIS’ Filips Bernadskis (Occupational Therapist, National Rehabilitation Centre “Vaivari”, and CEO, LSCIS) & Santa Trofimova (Occupational Therapist, National Rehabilitation Centre “Vaivari”) are focusing on golf from a rehabilitative side to see whether it can help increase their balance or walking, whilst at the same time assessing things such as social indicators and benefits.

‘Adaptive golf’ allows players to overcome disabilities through the use of aids and equipment, or simply adjustments to technique that work around or with a disability. The LSCIS programme helps guide players through their adaptive golf journey to aid playing, but also as part of their own individual rehabilitation.

As with many of these interventions, social interaction, fun, and activity in green space have also been key factors in giving many of the varied benefits golf can bring to the participants.

Not only do they use golf as an intervention with new players, helping to develop golf in Latvia through increased participation in general, but they also work with those who have already played to help motivate people to learn and enjoy golf, all in a group environment.

Although a full scientific assessment has not been undertaken yet, there are many positive anecdotes that have been recorded around the interventions. Future work will include getting more participants to take part on a more individual basis to increase their independence and confidence, and to help their development as golfers so they stick with the sport.

Filips Bernadskis & Santa Trofimova joined guests at the 2018 Golf & Health Scientific Meeting at High Elms Golf Club, UK, to explain more about their work…


The Golf & Health Scientific Meeting

Hosted by High Elms Golf Club, the Golf & Health Scientific Meeting brought together a wide variety of research specialists from around the world to share the incredible, cutting-edge research they are undertaking in the fields of physical activity, medical interventions and social prescribing, dementia and Parkinson’s research, rehabilitation, and community engagement, all with a focus on the health benefits that golf can give.

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Golf & Health Project

By Golf & Health Project