Golf club pitching in to help veterans Battle Back from injury

A professional golfer will be pitching in for veterans on Armistice Day by putting a ball every 12 seconds to raise money for a Shropshire military recovery centre.

Lisa Shervill, a pro at Lilleshall Hall Golf Club near Newport, has set herself a target of putting 1,918 balls on an 11ft putting green – symbolising November 11, 1918, which marked the end of hostilities in the First World War – to raise funds for the Royal British Legion's Battle Back Centre.

The Battle Back Centre, which is next to the golf club, has helped 7,000 serving and retired personnel since it opened in 2012 thanks to a record £50 million donation from the Royal British Legion.

The centre, which uses sport to help injured servicemen and women with their recovery programmes, has a close relationship with the golf club, providing golf lessons as part of the therapy.

Lisa had originally intended to carry out her challenge on the outdoor putting green, where she would be joined by Battle Back veterans.

However, the coronavirus restrictions meant she will now have to complete the feat on the indoor putting green at the club shop instead.

She said she planned to put 1,818 balls today – starting after the two minute's silence at 11am – and then finish the last 100 balls on December 2, when the Battle Back veterans will be allowed to join her again.

"I will still only be taking the daylight hours I would have had, roughly six hours and hope to finish on the Wednesday, December 2, when we reopen," she said.

To complete the feat in the allotted time, Lisa will need to putt the balls at a rate of just over five a minute.

Lisa, whose husband Mark also gives golf lessons to veterans, said £750 had been pledged so far, although she was still hoping other sponsors would come forward.

She said she decided to help after hearing how the coronavirus was expected to have an impact on the funds raised by this year's poppy appeal.

The Battle Back Centre has to raise £2.5 million a year to cover its running costs.

Lisa also challenged people to take up similar challenges at home, posting videos and results on the club Facebook page.

Lisa added that everybody who had sponsored her would have their names entered into a hat, with the winner getting the putter she used for the challenge.

Sally Green, recovery operations assistant manager at Battle Back, said: “We are grateful for the fantastic support and fund raising efforts of Lisa and Mark Shervill and all of the members at Lilleshall Hall Golf Club.

"Ours is a special relationship, based around the shared vision we have for improving the lives of veterans and serving personnel through sporting activities, in particular golf.”

To make a pledge, please contact Lisa on 07809 755716.

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