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Primary Children Test 'World-First' Prosthetic Arm at Woburn Golf Course

Published: 22nd May 2024 13:10

 A revolutionary prosthetic arm, the first of its kind globally, was recently trialled by primary-aged children during a special coaching session at Woburn Golf Club in Milton Keynes.

UK-based Koalaa is collaborating with EDGA, a non-profit organisation committed to making golf accessible to all, to develop a unique tool that enhances the ability of players with upper limb differences to effectively use a golf club.

While the development process is still in its early stages, the session at Woburn followed months of research and testing and was the first time that younger players have been invited to test out the prototype device.

Each of the children using the prosthetics has a congenital below elbow limb difference, meaning their arm did not develop fully at birth. They have been given their Koalaa prosthetic for free through a charitable initiative called Project Limitless, which supports children aged 18 and under living in the UK. Around 600 children have already received a prosthetic through the scheme.

Under the expert guidance of golf coach, Mark Taylor, EDGA's Head of Instruction & Education, the children used their prosthetic for the first time to play three holes on a specially created short course designed for them for the day. Coinciding with The G4D Open, an inclusive tournament attracting skilled golfers with disabilities from worldwide, the event also provided the youngsters with a chance to meet some of the world's top players.

Mark Taylor commented: "It was brilliant to welcome the children along to Woburn and they all picked it up really quickly! Tools, like the one we're developing with Koalaa, are so important for aiding inclusivity and making golf accessible for all. We want everyone, no matter what age, ability or experience level, to know that golf is for them."

Mark added: "From a player perspective, one crucial and unique benefit of Koalaa's prosthetics is that they make it possible to connect the limb to the golf club in a functional position which complements maximum player interaction with the club and enhances the motion and force generation inside the swing - something that is just not possible without the new device."

Unlike conventional prosthetics, Koalaa's are crafted from a breathable fabric that fits snugly against the arm, making them lightweight, comfortable, and ideal for young children, and can be sent around the world, in volume, for a fraction of the cost. Koalaa prosthetics are currently available for those with below elbow and partial hand limb differences and feature interchangeable tools tailored to user feedback, allowing for a versatile range of activities.

Nate Macabuag, founder of Koalaa, commented: "It's fantastic to be working with the team at EDGA on this development project. Together, we hope to inspire people with limb differences of all ages to pick up a club and hit the golf course! Regardless of whether you're a complete novice, or an elite in your field, at Koalaa our mission is to make prosthetics and tools for people that supports them to do the activities they want to do - and this is another exciting example of our commitment to that goal."

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