A professional golfer is raising money for dementia research by donating cash for every birdie he plays in 2014.
Oliver Walmsley, 20, from Leicester, was inspired to help Alzheimer’s Research UK after seeing two of his grandparents battle with the condition.
He hopes to increase the amount he raises by persuading others to sponsor his challenge.
Oliver, who plays at Cosby Golf Club, is in his second year as a professional and is due to play in around 30 tournaments in the UK and overseas in 2014. His season kicks off with two tournaments in Morocco in March.
Oliver plans to donate £1 for every birdie he makes, and is asking others to match his donations with sponsorship.
His parents also plan to raise money through events at their Leicester restaurant, Chef Patron.
Oliver explained: “My granddad passed away with Alzheimer’s six years ago, and then two years ago my nan was diagnosed with the disease, so I know how devastating its effects can be.
“I wanted to do something to support dementia research, but instead of cycling or running, I thought I would use what I do for a living to raise money.
“I usually average four or five birdies per round in each tournament, and I’ll donate £1 for each one – but if I can get even 10 people to pledge to sponsor me for the same amount, then I can raise much more.
“Everyone has been really supportive of the idea so I hope lots of people with sponsor me, and I want to get the word out to as many people as I can.
“This is a really important cause for my family, and we want to do as much as we can to help the dementia research experts.”
Miranda Johnson, head of corporate and community partnerships at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “This such a creative fundraising challenge, and we couldn’t be more grateful to Oliver for harnessing the power of his golf skills to support our work.
“Every £20 he raises will be enough to pay for another hour of pioneering research, bringing new treatments, preventions and improved diagnosis for dementia ever closer.
“There are hundreds of thousands of people living with dementia in the UK, including nearly 7,000 in Leicestershire, and research is crucial to make a difference to people’s lives.
“We rely on our wonderful supporters to be able to fund our research, and we hope the efforts of people like Oliver will inspire others to take up a fundraising challenge too.”
To sponsor Oliver, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/OllieWalmsley.