To the Editor:
I am amazed that no business or group has come forward to sponsor our longtime resident Darren Douma, a blind golfer and member of the Creston Golf Club.
By achieving national and international status, he has brought attention to our community and to the possibilities of persons with disabilities, while financing his travel and entry fees without support. This amounts to a couple of thousand dollars for each event he travels to, a financial burden for a family man.
Douma has competed to a Nations Cup win, with team Canada, and placed second overall in the ISPS Handa Australian Blind Golf championships in New South Wales. He has also won two of his three matches in the Nova Scotia Invitational in Truro, and competed in the Ressmeyer Vision Cup in Milan, Italy.
To promote the sport, he brought the 2015 ISPS Handa Canadian Blind Golf Championships to the Creston Golf Club, injecting value to our local economy.
Athletes who achieve national and international status usually have sponsors beating down their doors, but Douma has not found an enthusiastic partner as yet.
Rated as B3 sight impairment means that Douma has some sight, but must compete with a sighted assistant to guide his shots. As a lifelong golfer, he was reluctant to leave the game when his eyesight started to fail. The Western Canadian Blind Golf Association gave him the chance to continue.
Douma now is a Canadian Blind Sports golf commissioner, and a director of the Canadian Council for the Blind as a B.C. representative and on the sports committee.
As an enthusiastic promoter of activities for the blind, he has formed a Visually Impaired-Blind Empowerment (VIBE) chapter in Creston.
Anyone interested in supporting this enthusiastic athlete, or joining VIBE, please contact Douma at 250-428-1807 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.vibebc.com.