Congratulations to Ben for winning the 2018 Service to Sport award, ahead of 100 nominations. It is testimony to the incredible efforts Ben has made in growing the game of golf for people living with a disability in Queensland.
Ben was the worst injured survivor from the Bali bombing in October 2002. At the time of the bombing, Ben was a successful furniture importer from Brisbane, on a buying trip to Indonesia.
Standing only 5 metres from the car bomb when it was detonated, the blast took both of Ben’s legs, most of his stomach muscles, and his hearing in one ear. It gave him more than 63% full thickness burns to his body. His injuries were so severe that he was initially thought to be dead. Assessed as the most critically injured person with only a 5% chance of survival, he was the first person airlifted back to Australia.
Not only did he fight on and survive his horrific injuries, but he walks again thanks to his two prosthetic legs and his ‘never say die’ attitude.
Ben’s determination and strength of character to triumph over personal adversity earned him a 2006 Pride of Australia Medal for Courage and he was awarded a Moncrieff Community Award.
Ben took up golf in 2007 as a form of recreation and rehabilitation. He has played in many amputee and pro-am tournaments and taught hundreds with a disability.
After running a series of disability golf clinics in Queensland, Ben met James from Empower Golf. They realised that they shared a common journey and common goals. Since then, Ben has run Empower Golf in Queensland arranging disability golf clinics and growing the game.
Ben’s home course is the magnificent Parkwood International (Empower Golf Hub) on the Gold Coast where he delivers regular Golf Clinics.