Plymouth's inspirational amputee David Ward heads On Course event at St Mellion
PLYMOUTH'S inspirational amputee David Ward is fronting a cause he knows plenty about and in a sport he loves at St Mellion golf club.
St Mellion has hosted a three-day On Course Foundation (OCF) initiative, which ends today, designed at improving the lot of injured, wounded or sick service personnel.
On Course does not offer a quick fix, says Ward.
The scheme operates through monthly, nationwide, golf skills and employment training events, and is aimed at both sexes who have suffered life-changing injuries.
Ward, who plays off a handicap of 12 and has a clutch of trophies at his Plympton home to show for it, is a winner and survivor of remarkable fortitude.
The 48-year-old is a wonder, not just of medical science, but of personal philosophy as well as fate.
Ward is a survivor of the Kegworth air crash which killed 47 passengers, including his fiancé, 24 years ago when the only bone that wasn't broken in his body was his right arm.
His lower right leg has been amputated and his left leg is twisted and supported by a brace.
Ward's many scars include crater-like dints on his legs and his scalp, and he has a permanent reminder of the damage in the form of a Z pattern down his spine.
So if Ward reckons On Course is 'the best thing I've been involved in' you had better believe him.
Ward told Herald Sport: "On Course has so many things going for it and so much to offer people in my position.
"I'm immensely grateful to the surgeons and doctors who patched me up all that time ago, and wish there had been an organisation like On Course when I was recuperating.
"Our patron in the UK is Prince Andrew and in the States, where we've just opened a foundation in Florida, golfing great Arnold Palmer holds the same capacity.
"Those attending events like this week's at St Mellion get to receive golf tuition from accredited teaching professionals.
"They also receive advice and presentations from various sectors of the golf industry.
"On Course also gives practical training to achieve industry-specific qualifications and work experience placements.
"We do everything we can to help personnel face up to the challenge of finding employment after leaving the Services."
Ward added: "We're playing this week on the Kernow Course at St Mellion, which is wonderful to play on.
"If the weather was similar to our base in America, I'd play three or four times a week.
"Golf's a wonderful sport to play and, with the help of On Course, can help amputees and injured men and women find a new career."