British and English Disabled Golf Champion, Ashley Harris, joins the BRIT Ambassador family
We are delighted that Ashley has joined our BRIT Ambassador family.
Ashley is both a player and champion of Disabled Golf. He has represented England, won the British and English Disabled Golf Open, and has reached No.1 in the World and European Disabled Golf rankings.
“Having had first-hand experience of battling with mental health, and living with a disability since my teenage years, I can appreciate the mental health challenges that so many young adults and students face; particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting on existing mental health difficulties. With one in four young people being unable to access the mental health support they needed during the 2020 lockdown, we need to do all we can to look after their wellbeing in order to avoid long-term effects on their mental health.
The British Inspiration Trust’s vision is to unite the education, sport and charity sectors through an annual UK-wide inclusive feel-good fundraising challenge. It is an awesome to see what they have already achieved; their partnerships with national governing bodies and relationships with so many charities, universities and colleges throughout the UK.
I applaud BRIT for designing the BRIT 2021 Challenge so that it is inclusive and enables students and staff of all abilities to take part; by hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding). If every UK university, college and students’ union enter teams and encourage 2,021 students and staff to take part in the challenge and complete 1 mile each, at home or on campus, over 1 million students and staff would be taking part. If they all raised just £1, together they would raise £1million for BRIT and their partner mental health charities!
I am thrilled to be joining the BRIT Ambassador family and uniting with Olympians, Paralympians and sports personalities, to encourage universities and colleges to enter teams and support their students and staff as they complete their BRIT Challenge. I will do all I can to invite fellow British Golfers to join the BRIT Ambassador family and help encourage more colleges and universities to enter teams in the challenge.
I would be delighted to encourage students and staff at Kingston University and the University of Surrey, should they enter teams in the BRIT 2021 Challenge.”
Ashley was introduced to golf by his grandfather and playing soon became a passion for him. After a caddying job at the Welsh Open, at Celtic Manor, Ashley experienced severe pain in his knee which resulted in surgery. He had developed Rheumatoid Arthritis and subsequently battled with depression and a gambling addiction. With the support of family and friends, Ashley’s mental health has improved over the years. With a positive attitude, and the bravery, to support others, Ashley has found the inner strength to share his story of addiction, mental health and attempted suicide in his early twenties.
Despite suffering with Axial Spondlarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis in many of his joints, Ashley rekindled his love of golf. He has become both a successful player and a champion of Disabled Golf.
Between 2010 and 2013, Ashley studied for a degree in Business Management in Golf and Sport at Kingston University.
In 2015, Ashley came second in the UK Open and seventh in the British Open.
Ashley represented England, against Wales, in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
In 2017, Ashley won the Welsh Open, was the Nett Winner at the English Open, Gross Winner at the British Open and came 4th in the Czech Open.
Ashley won the 2018 Isps Handa Disabled Golf Cup and that same year, was ranked No.1 in the World and European Disabled Golf rankings. He has also won eight tournaments on the Disabled Golf Association (DGA) Tour.
In 2019, Ashley launched Enable Golf in order to promote golf within the disabled community and provide opportunities to play.
For more information on Disabled Golf in England, please visit the England Golf website.
For more information on Disabled Golf in Northern Ireland, please visit the Disability Sport NI website.
For more information on Disabled Golf in Scotland, please visit the Scottish Disability Golf and Curling (SDGC) Website.
For more information on Disabled Golf in Wales, please visit the Wales Golf website.