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Inventors may help Vernon return to golf

HE’S coached Leongatha’s footballers to a premiership and was recently appointed coach of Phillip Island Football Club.

Now Beau Vernon is ready for his next sporting challenge.

After a footballing accident left him with quadriplegia, Vernon is taking part in an inventing challenge that could result in the creation of a device to help him return to his beloved golf.

If successful, the gadget could become available to other people with disabilities to enable them to return to the sport they love.

Vernon played off a handicap of 16 before the accident that changed his life but not his zest for it.

“My aim is to take this invention out when I want to play nine holes of golf,” he said.

Vernon is taking part in the world-renowned Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM): Melbourne 2017 Makeathon Challenge that will see 100 people have 72 hours to complete 11 challenges that will improve the quality of life for Victorians, at Swinburne University, Hawthorn.

They will aim to build a bottle pourer for a quadruple amputee and devices to help people with other disabilities fish, film while on crutches, measure liquid and create art.

“We’re coming up with prototypes with the team at the moment,” he said.

His team of professional and student engineers may make a glove that will hold a club by enabling Vernon to wrap his fingers around the shaft.

The final product, as well as the others, will be available online to other people with disabilities for free.

Vernon has hit balls at the driving range at Sandhurst Golf Club near Cranbourne, but without finger movement, he struggled to hold the club.

It was taped to his hand but he said the arrangement was not practical for playing nine holes.

“I would love to be able to say to a mate ‘Would you like to get out there and play nine holes?’” Vernon said.

He’s already returned to surfing on a modified board but longs for the chance to be independent while enjoying his activities.

The makeathon will take place from Friday, December 1 to Sunday, December 3, and will be open to the public on the Saturday and Sunday. Entry is $5 per person and all funds raised directly support the TOM: Melbourne initiative in 2018.

Hitting back: Beau Vernon is taking part in invention competition he hopes will result in the creation of a device to help him – and others – play golf.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=23192

Posted by on Nov 14 2017. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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