A disabled golfer from Wansbeck is preparing to embark on what will be the pinnacle of his sporting career.
Kevin Harmison, from East Sleekburn, is the reigning number one in Great Britain.
And now he has been called up alongside Surrey’s Duncan Hamilton-Martin and Mark Smith from Essex for the inaugural launch of the prestigious World disabled championships which are being held in Japan at the end of this month.
The trio form the Great Britain team and will be in a field of 120 elite competitors for the four-day event, which gets into full swing on September 30.
Whilst the focal point of the tournament, which is being staged at the One Way golf course just outside Tokyo and a couple of miles from Narita, will be an individual event played over three rounds, there will also be a team competition.
Harmison, 49, a gym instructor at the Hirst Welfare Centre in Ashington, has been the number one in Great Britain for the past two and a half years and has been training hard.
“It’s alright being the best in Great Britain and Europe, but a world event is massive,” he said.
“I have been pushing myself hard over the past two to three years because I knew if something like this was coming up then I couldn’t rest on my laurels.”
However, on the down side, he and his team mates have had to stump up £2,000 each to participate.
“Richard Saunders, the chairman of the Balasa charity organisation, wrote to Sport England asking for financial backing for us but the request was turned down so we are having to pay ourselves,” he said.
“And PGA coach Craig Thomas, who is well known on the golfing circuit, would have come along as our coach but again we could not get funding, which is very disappointing.”
Harmison will fly out from Heathrow direct to Narita on a 12 hours flight a couple of days before the start of the tournament.
He addded: “It’s an honour to play and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Anyone interested in assisting Kevin with funding can contact him on 07903 235794.