British and English Disabled Golf Champion, Ashley Harris, supports the BRIT Ambassador family
We are delighted that Ashley continues to be part of our BRIT Ambassador family to support and improve young adult mental health and fitness in the UK.
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 and the wealth of national governing bodies, and charities, championing the annual BRIT Challenge is incredible. It is awesome to see what BRIT have already achieved; almost 180 university and college teams have taken part in BRIT Challenges over the past two years and over 150 BRIT Ambassadors have united to support and improve young adult mental health and fitness.
I applaud BRIT for designing the annual BRIT 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). Every UK university, college and Students’ Union team is invited to choose a second charity to raise funds for, alongside BRIT, and this is an inspiring initiative to support local, regional and national charities.
I am thrilled to be part of the BRIT Ambassador family and uniting with Olympians, Paralympians and sports personalities, to invite universities and colleges to enter teams and encourage 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 to promote the BRIT Challenge, destigmatise mental health and promote equality, diversity and inclusion.
I would be delighted to encourage and support students and staff at Kingston University and the University of Surrey, should they enter teams in the BRIT Challenge.”
British and English Disabled Golf Champion
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 Gold Association (DGA) Tour.
In 2019, Ashley launched Enable Golf in order to promote golf within the disabled community and provide opportunities to play. You can follow Ashley on Instagram.
For more information on Disabled Gold 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.