A police officer who was left paralysed after the Westminster terror attack in 2017 is able to play golf again thanks to a charity.
Kris Aves, 35, was walking over Westminster Bridge on March 22 last year, after collecting an award from the Metropolitan Police at a commendation ceremony.
He was one of the people injured when Khalid Masood plouged his car into pedestrians, and was left paralysed and wheelchair-bound.
After spending seven months in Stoke Mandeville hospital, he was able to return home in March this year after DIY SOS stepped in to adapt his house in Barnet, north London, for his needs.
Kris Aves using the paragolfer. Video: The Golf Trust
He told talkRADIO’s Eamonn Holmes that a friend in the Met Police put him in touch with Cae Menai-Davis, one of the founders of charity the Golf Trust.
It was established at the Shire Golf Club in north London in 2012, and uses specialist equipment to deliver golf training in non-traditional areas such as schools and inner-city spaces.
The charity also works to remove barriers to golf by helping those with disabilities participate in the sport.
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“The Golf Trust was a charity that approached me and talked to me about a vehicle or a machine called a paragolfer,” Aves explained.
“I googled it, as you would, and it’s kind of a big wheelchair, a three wheeler, weighs half a ton or more.
“What it can do is from a seated position, get me into a standing position, and can stop off in between so you’ve got different angles.”
'I shed a tear'
Aves, a keen golfing fan, tested out the paragolfer at the Shire club, and described the emotion he felt at being able to swing a club again.
“The Golf Trust introduced me to the paragolfer, I tried it in at the Shire Golf Club in North London and I managed to hit a golf ball for the first time since my injury,” he said.
“I think I shed a little bit of a tear.”
He said getting golf “back into my life” was a priority along with returning to his family.
“In hospital there were three things I wanted to get back into my life, the first thing being my family - I have two young children - and Marissa my partner as well,” Aves explained.
“After that the two other things were one hundred percent golf and Tottenham Hotspur.
“I’m very lucky those three things are back in my life, but the one for me that I never thought I’d be able to do in a million years is swing a golf club or hit a golf ball.”