Huddersfield golfer James Gallagher is hoping to inspire others after being selected to represent Europe at the 2024 Cairns Cup, a disability match-play event.
James, 28, who has cerebral palsy, is a member at Meltham Golf Club. He’s excited to be selected for an event that promotes opportunities for disabled golfers in Europe and the United States.
The event started in Florida in 2018 and is held bi-annually. It next takes place at Cherry Creek, Detroit, Michigan, from July 27 to August 3 2024.
James, who lives in Longwood, said: “Being selected for the Cairns Cup is a huge honour and I can’t wait to get out there and show what I can do. It’s a proud moment for myself and it’s a chance I want to make the best of.
“This is a huge opportunity for me and one I know doesn’t come around often. It will give me the opportunity to show people in Huddersfield and beyond that just because I have a disability doesn’t mean I can’t succeed in the sport I love.
“It might inspire more people in this area to get into golf, particularly disabled people.”
James has loved golf since he was young and said: “My dad and uncle played golf so it’s always been in my veins. I’ve been around the sport since the age of seven and began to play at the age of 12.
“I’ve always loved the sport. I like being outdoors and you get to play on fantastic courses that are stunning and picturesque. I want to be influential. I want to prove to people in this area that disabled people can play golf.
“Golf is an outlet for me. My disability means I struggle to do tasks like tie my shoes, lift heavy loads and chop things up.
“My disability makes the left hand side of my body weaker than my right. So, although I’m still able to use my left arm and leg, they are just weaker.
“Some things that an able-bodied person takes for granted are a big achievement for me. I always just take each day as it comes.
“When it comes to golf my left hand grips the club weaker than my right hand, so I’ve had to adapt how I play to make it the best way for me. Hopefully I’ll play well in the cup next year, but the main thing is I’m looking forward to it.”
Main image: James Gallagher (second right) with (L-R) Stuart Swan, Dan Bradbury (DP World Tour) and Adrian Ambler, Meltham Golf Club head professional.