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Raymond supports Olsen’s passion for golf

Posted on May 2, 2024 by admin
Westwind Weekly News Photo Submitted

By Heather Cemeron
Westwind Weekly News

During the April 2 Town of Raymond Council meeting, approved a fundraising initiative that would enable Raymond local Cale Olsen to participate in the One-Armed Golf Association Tournament that will happen in La Qunita, Calif. from June 3 to June 6.

Sandy Jones of Hell’s Creek Golf Course says that the fundraising included an Oddball Tournament that Hell’s Creek Golf Course held on the evening of April 26 that raised $360 towards Cale’s dream. 

“An Oddball Tournament is where you do something different on every hole,” said Jones. “For example, we had every golfer drive using only one arm, so they would know what it was like. I think most of us put our backs out, as it’s a lot harder than you think. On another hole, we had to sit on a chair to drive, use a broom as a putter; we even played a bit of fling golf. Everyone seemed to have a good time.”

Jones said that those who are still interested in donating can drop off a cash donation at the Hell’s Creek Golf Course, and the golf course is working on making an e-transfer option a possibility.

25-year-old Cale Olsen grew up in Raymond and attended school there, but when he was just six months old, his life changed permanently when he was in a serious car crash that ultimately paralyzed his left arm due to a brachial plexus injury.

“Growing up in Raymond was a challenge, as all of my friends played basketball and football, but I found myself growing an appreciation and competitiveness for all sport,” said Olsen. “I participated in all sorts of various sports and organizations such as soccer, golf, volleyball, and was a part of the Raymond Junior High School Band. As I grew older and into my high school years, I took another step into furthering my soccer career and began playing soccer at a club level in Coaldale, competing at the provincial level, as well as proudly representing the County of Warner at the Southern Alberta Summer Games, and eventually progressed to the Lethbridge College Kodiaks program, which was cut short due to COVID unfortunately.”

Olsen says that it wasn’t until he started college in 2019 that he began growing a passion for the game of golf. 

“I would find myself golfing every weekend with the guidance and advice from my dad, Kevin, and my Uncle Greg,” said Olsen. “Although it was a struggle and a challenge, I found it enjoyable, and I set my mind to become a better golfer. Through the 5 years I’ve spent golfing, I’ve dropped my score from shooting around 115-120, to shooting in the low 90’s as soon as late last year.”

The North American One-Armed Golfers Association (NAOAGA), Olsen says, is a non-profit association geared towards growing the game of golf to people with disabilities. According to The North American One Armed Golfers Association (NAOAGA) website, https://www.naoaga.org/mission.html, the mission of NAOAGA is to promote the game of golf to those that have an upper extremity disability due to a physically-challenged condition for the purpose of competition, recreation, and physical & emotional rehabilitation. NAOAGA, the website says, will organize local, regional, national, and international competitions for its membership, seek opportunities to educate the public on the existence and benefits of “one-armed golf,” and strive to provide a forum for discussion of pertinent issues related to living with an upper-extremity disability.

“A huge thank you to Hells Creek Golf Course, The Town of Raymond, and to Hugh Simpson, who has been so instrumental and so enthusiastic towards making this dream become reality,” said Olsen. “I don’t know that any of this would be possible without him.”

Other support for Cale, Jones said, came from the Council in that they approved Hell’s Creek Golf Course donating some shirts and hats and golf balls containing the course’s logo to Olsen for the tournament.

“We’ve never had anybody been invited to this event like Cale has, which is exciting,” said Jones.

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