When one is asked to envisage their stereotypical golfer, the more casual fan, perhaps even just a completely random person on the street, would not necessarily associate this individual with a high level of stamina. After all, why on earth would this be necessary in a sport that is perceived by some to merely just involve standing around whacking a ball with a stick? Of course a degree of muscle must be required to move the thing, but surely not a Mo Farah-esque ability to run obscene distances? Well, on 10 March, six members of the St Andrews Ladies Golf Club will attempt to alter this arcane perception of the lazy golfer when they take part in the Inverness Half Marathon, all in aid of two wonderful charities.
While talking to Charlotte McClusky, the club’s Events and Publicity Officer, it was really hard not to gain a genuine appreciation for what those partaking in the run were trying to achieve, as well as the fantastic work that their chosen charities do in their respective fields. McClusky is one of the six foolhardy club members embarking on the challenge, alongside Anna Herbelin, Molly Hocking, Alexandra Lee, Seonaid Rapach and Fanny Wahlberg. She pinpoints the precise moment inspiration for the run was sourced as when the girls “had the opportunity to play with a group of veterans from the St Andrews Legacy (one of their chosen charities)” during the club’s annual golf day. The St Andrews Legacy is a charity giving veterans of war across the world the chance to play golf in the prestigious surroundings of the home of the sport, thus giving many of those veterans who perhaps suffer significant and debilitating mental or physical injuries from conflict the chance to potentially fulfil a lifelong ambition. Indeed, McClusky highlighted how it was the inspiration the club members gained from such a remarkable group of people that incentivised them “to run the Inverness Half Marathon to show our support and admiration” for these brave men and women. As McClusky emphasised, the “Golf Club believe in the unifying power of golf, and we couldn’t be happier to support such a fabulous cause”.
The other charity for which they are running is the Fife Rape and Sexual Assault Centre that, as the name implies, helps “victims of rape and sexual assault by giving advice, counselling and support”. It goes without saying that this is a charity that provides priceless refuge for the extremely unfortunate few within our local community here in Fife who have had their lives turned upside down by suffering from such barbarism. The charity obviously does “great work in the local community” and McClusky was keen to stress how much the club “really wants to continue to raise money and awareness of this charity”. Perhaps in order to avoid accusations of favouritism, the runners will also split the donations they raise “between the two local charities” thus ensuring they both receive a sizeable amount of the money earned by the girls’ efforts.
With regards to how the preparations for the run are going, McClusky was candid enough to admit “I cannot say preparing for the run over the cold winter months has been easy so far!”, a sentiment that would undoubtedly receive many relatable nods from veterans of such physically strenuous exertions before. McClusky, however, also emphasised how “having two great charities in mind is keeping us going” and certainly a desire to do their chosen philanthropic partners justice on 10 March will be in the forefront of the runner’s minds in the lead up to, as well as during, the big day.
Even if the run does not go as planned, the real victory will be having raised a serious amount of money for two great causes. The girls’ incredible drive and determination to make a difference to these fantastic charities is exceptionally admirable and all are encouraged to donate any amount to their justgiving page to make their efforts all the more worthwhile: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ustagolf.