CELTIC FC Foundation’s Golf Day takes place on Thursday, June 23 at Renfrew Golf Club and, as the countdown begins to the first tee off, we take a closer look at the people directly relying on this year’s beneficiary, Ability Counts.
Our award-winning Ability Counts project, which started out as a way to engage children living with Down’s Syndrome, now also comprises project delivery in Autism and/or complex physical disabilities.
It is used to engage with children and young people who may otherwise be excluded – these children need a chance and Celtic FC Foundation, with your help, will continue to provide it.
One man who is firmly behind the Ability Counts project, is David Bonar. David’s daughter Sophie, aged nine, has Aspergers Syndrome and has previously been involved with Celtic FC Foundation’s initiatives around Autism.
Discussing the background of Sophie’s condition, David said: “Sophie was diagnosed at five-years-old at her nursery school where they advised that she had shown signs of being on the Autism spectrum.
“After an 18-month period, Sophie was then formally identified as having Aspergers Syndrome. Some of the things we struggled with at first, included simply communicating with Sophie.
“If Sophie was in distress or something had upset her, she wouldn’t be able to communicate that to us. This was also accompanied by things like night terrors, and those are obviously quite scary and you’re fearful that she may hurt herself as it can cause her to inadvertently kick out and thrash.”
After Sophie had become involved with Celtic FC Foundation’s Ability Counts initiative around Autism, David became aware of the value and transformative power of the project.
He said: “It’s helped us cope a great deal. We were able to understand more about Sophie’s needs and how to best help her when things get too much.
“You see, even innocuous things can inspire triggers, for example, if Sophie encounters a displeasing smell, such as spilled milk in a supermarket, it can really upset her.
“One of the great things about the course, is how it helped us understand and gain insight into what Sophie was going through, and also, how to help her through it.
“We were also able to discuss and share techniques in an open forum with parents who were dealing with similar issues, and it was great to discover methods that had worked for other parents.”
David’s experience with the Ability Counts inspired him to support Celtic FC Foundation through his participation in the Golf Day.
On his participation in the event, David said: “It’s really just my way of saying thank you.
“It’s an opportunity to give something back, to support the Foundation and hopefully let others know that there are avenues out there to help – I’m certain it’ll be a great day for a worthy cause.”
The cost to enter a team of four for the golf day is £400 (£100 per player) and availability is now limited.
To book your team’s place or for more information, please call 0141 551 4373 or email[email protected]