Home CFB Borden Borden Golf Club Ill and injured members golf with a pro at Borden

Ill and injured members golf with a pro at Borden

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Golf pro Jon Anderson gives instruction at local Soldier On event. (Photo credit: Emily Nakeff)

A small group of ill and injured serving Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and veterans got a special opportunity to golf with a pro at the Borden Golf Club. 

The one-day Soldier On golf day was held at CFB Borden on 18 July. Golf pro Jon Anderson provided instruction to seven Soldier On participants of varying skill levels, giving tips on short game as well as driving. The group then put their new skills to the test with a round of golf in the afternoon. Soldier On is a CAF program that supports recovery and improves the quality of life for ill and injured CAF members and veterans through sports and physical recreation, as well as creative activities. Since 2007, Solider On has helped more than 10,000 ill and injured members across Canada. 

Jacquie Charron, a retired Sergeant Major who served in the CAF for 30 years, was one of seven participants for the July golf event. She had first heard about the Soldier On program while working at the Transition Centre in Meaford, but it wasn’t until after suffering a fall that affected her back and knees that she discovered the benefits first-hand. 

“I’ve always loved sport, and so I thought this is a great way for people to get back into sport with injuries,” said Charron. “A lot of time we struggle with how to adapt to fitness. So that’s the great part about [Soldier On], regardless of your injuries you can do most sports.”

Charron has participated in several Soldier On events, including fly fishing, hiking, and paddle boarding, and looks forward to trying out as many as possible. Beyond staying active and learning new skills, she says the biggest benefit has been meeting other veterans and serving members she can relate to. 

“We try to get a variety of activities, that way it doesn’t matter what a member’s illness or injury is, whether it be a visible injury or a non-visible injury,” said Jamie MacIntyre, Southern Ontario coordinator for Soldier On. He organizes eight to 12 single and multi-day events in the region each year.  

Now branching out into creative activities as well, there is a lot to choose from, and certified instructors for all activities make it accessible for all skill levels. 

“It’s a safe learning atmosphere,” said MacIntyre. “Men and women who have been retired for 20 or 30 years have found us and come out to events. It doesn’t matter what type of injury you have or how old you are, or what element you served in. I would encourage anybody who is ill or injured to sign up on our website.”

More information about Soldier On and upcoming local events can be found on their website and social media.

By: Emily Nakeff, Editor