Back in the swing of things

Troy Morrison using his standing wheelchair to practice at the driving range ahead of the upcoming B.C. Adaptive Sports golf tournament. SPIN Photo.

Adaptive golfing at upcoming tournament

Troy Morrison is an active member of the Sun Peaks community; he spends lots of time on the snow, rides motocross and quads and and helps countless students with Adaptive Sports at Sun Peaks (ASSP).

This summer he is learning to golf again after an accident in 2012 left his legs paralyzed. Morrison has been using his standing wheelchair at the Sun Peaks’ driving range, practising for Sept. 14 when he hopes to take part in the annual Sun Peaks Grand Golf Tournament for BC Adaptive Snowsports.

Playing in the tournament will require a wheelchair specifically designed for going onto the course. It holds clubs and other equipment, has wheels that can drive on fairways and assists him to stand to swing and putt.

“Long term I’d like to fundraise for one for ASSP,” Morrison said. “ASSP is not (just) adaptive skiing at Sun Peaks it’s adaptive sports. It’s another thing that will make it accessible both summer and winter.

“It’s one more thing people can try, for avid golfers who want to get back out there or just to get people out there doing things.”

Morrison has been involved with ASSP since 2013, first as a student learning to monoski, then as an instructor helping students and instructors master the sport.

“I helped a student who was having issues, she’s a fellow paraplegic and she had the biggest smile on her face when she got to the bottom and I could really relate. Hook, sinker, it was a done deal,” he said. “I was in.”

Since then he has attended courses to become an instructor and an annual festival where he was able to network with other athletes and instructors from across the country.

“I love giving back. Young, old, standing or sitting, we’re all out there just to shred.”

Now Morrison is busy throughout the winter as the equipment manager and lead sit ski instructor at ASSP. But summer’s aren’t much quieter.

Not long after his accident he tried wheelchair sports but the ones with more adrenaline, which he often took part in before, called to him.

He has a motocross bike modified with a leg cage, rides quads and is itching to get his hands on an adaptive downhill mountain bike.

“I can’t go as fast or jump as high but it’s constant fun and challenging. You can take my legs but you can’t take my passion.”

Getting back out there hasn’t always been easy but Morrison said he always knew he wouldn’t stop after his injury. He had friends before his accident who sit skied and always joked with them it looked easy.

“When I did crash (a quad) and was waiting in the ditch I thought ‘Yeah I’m going to try this sit ski thing.’

“Lots of paraplegics, one of our favourite things to do is prove people wrong. I’ve always been like that, with an incredible amount of stubbornness.”

ASSP has played an important role along the way, from changing how he thinks to giving him opportunities to learn.

“In a way I pretty much found my purpose,” he said. “Seeing people happy and seeing progress and knowing I played a part in that.”