Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

This round's for you, dad

HE lost his father to cancer at the age of just 56.

And now teenager Josh Hall is using their shared passion for sport to raise money in his memory.

Josh, a rising sportsman who plays for the Ireland Under-19 cricket team, took up golf as a boy under the guidance of his later father, Steve.

So a golfing challenge was the obvious choice for a fundraiser in honour of his father who died from cancer of the oesophagus in 2007. It was in the last months of Steve's life that his family started fundraising for the Friends Of The Cancer Centre which is based at Belfast City Hospital.

Their determination to help has continued since Steve's early death and, next month, will culminate in a major charity tee-off.

On May 10, more than 120 golfers will come head-to-head at Edenmore Golf & Country Club in Magheralin, Co Down, Josh's golf club, and he hopes supporters will dig deep.

"I hope teams from far and wide will join us on the day for a spot of competition and to help raise funds for this worthy charity," the teenager said.

"At only £50 per person, which includes a two course meal plus tea and coffee, I hope interested golfers will see it as a good value day out that will help raise money to support cancer patients and families across Northern Ireland."

Josh highlighted the importance of patients and their families getting support from the centre.

"Friends of the Cancer Centre makes a real and meaningful difference to the lives of thousands of cancer patients and their families, by providing the latest medical equipment to help with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and by funding specialist medical posts and research," the Co Down sports student said.

"It also improves the quality of life for cancer patients and their families through diverse projects – from complementary therapies and relaxation classes to refurbishing the on-site 'patient hotel' for those who regularly have to travel long distances for their treatment."

Next month's four-ball Stableford competition is open to all individual players or four-strong teams. Josh added: "It would be brilliant if the event was such a success that it turned into an annual event – but let's take it one year at a time."

Claire McAuley from Friends of the Cancer Centre is helping to launch the event.

"I would like to thank Josh and his family for all of their support in helping to raise funds through this fun sporting event," she said.

"No matter what your handicap is, I'd encourage you to come along for a social round of golf paired with a great day's craic, all in the name of charity."

Deaglan O'Hagan, manager of Edenmore Golf & Country Club, added: "We have put together an excellent package, which will guarantee a memorable day for everyone who takes part.

"I would urge everyone to take action, pick up the phone and call Josh to reserve a tee time."

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