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Simon Khan to help budding golfers
May 19, 2011

Golf Pro, Simon Khan gets set to introduce youngsters to golf at a fun-packed event in East London's Shadwell Park. As well as helping budding golfers swing into action, this will be an opportunity to learn about the health benefits of being active and out in the sunshine which can play a role in the prevention of serious illnesses like male cancer.

The event takes place on Friday 20 th May at 2pm, when the King Edward VII Memorial Park, London will be turned into a temporary golf course for pupils from Blue Gate Fields Primary School, English Martyrs Primary School, Bishop Challoner Secondary and the Tower Project for Children with Disabilities, as well as medical students from QMUL Barts who will all enjoy a master class with the golf pro.

The surprising sight of golf being played in the middle of Tower Hamlets is the result of the hard work and long term vision of Professor Tim Oliver, a founder of the male cancer charity, Orchid Cancer Appeal and consultant from St Bart's and the Royal London Hospital. Professor Tim Oliver is promoting golf and exercise outdoors as a key weapon against male cancers and many other illnesses.  He is encouraging children to take up playing golf through SNAG ("Starting New At Golf" ), a simpler, less expensive method of learning the intricacies of the full game using specially designed clubs and soft balls, which crucially can be played anywhere including school sports halls and temporary courses set up in parks.

Players start with a series of practice stations aiming the ball onto different targets for putting, chipping and pitching. They then play nine holes in an area the size of a football pitch.  Each hole ends with a "sticky flag" of "velcro-like" material.

Professor Tim Oliver comments "Golf is an activity that everyone can participate in but it's not easy to access in urban centres. This event is a great opportunity to educate children and their parents about the benefits of regular, lifelong activity and safe exposure to the sun which has been shown to play a role in the prevention of male cancer".

Rebecca Porta, Chief Executive of Orchid comments, 'We are proud to be involved in this event. It's a fantastic idea that we hope will raise much needed awareness of male cancers among young people and their parents in a fun, yet educational way. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men aged 15-45, it affects 2,000 men a year, and activities which  encourage young people to take more notice and care of their health are extremely worthwhile and potentially lifesaving."   

Owen Henry, Bishop Challoner's school sports coordinator, said: "I'm sure there are hundreds of pupils who have passed through Tower Hamlets schools without ever playing golf. This is a great opportunity to learn a new sport."  


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