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What matters to you day - Eric's Story

Growing up in Troon, it’s no surprise Eric Cunningham loves golf. After all, Royal Troon, which regularly hosts the Open Championship, is right in the heart of the Ayrshire town.

But when Eric suffered a stroke in January 2021, he feared he might never play the game he loves again.

Enter Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s Bronwyn Tibbs, the Community Support Coordinator for Glasgow who introduced Eric to some fellow stroke survivors who are also mad about golf so they could chat about their passion.

Just a few months after his stroke, Eric, 60, was back on the course to play nine holes. Now he and wife Fiona have moved back to Ayrshire from Glasgow, so he has more time for his favourite pastime.

He says: “I play quite well, but I don’t have the same level of concentration now. I used to be a bad-tempered player, but now I’m a happy player. I don’t get annoyed about a bad shot or a bad round.

“Having had a stroke, I can’t afford to get angry or waste my energy on things that aren’t important. What matters to me is being out on the course and appreciating that I can still play this game.

“I couldn’t have done it without the wonderful people at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.”

Bronwyn says she started up the golf group because several service users were talking about the sport and, concerned that she knew nothing about the game, she thought it would be a good idea if they all got together.

She says: “After their stroke, most of the service users felt golf would be the last thing they could do. But encouraging them to talk about it, share their thoughts and opinions with others who love the game as much as they do has really helped several of them get back to playing golf.

“The group has gone from strength from strength. We have two amazing volunteers who have helped make the group so enjoyable for everyone who comes on. And we recently hosted a speaker from an organisation supporting those with a disability to get back to playing golf.

“The service users are using this talk as a spur to hopefully meet up soon for a round of golf together.”

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