PHOTO CREDIT: Simpson Cup
Former British soldier, Hari Budha Magar, was struggling to come to terms with losing both his legs to an IED in 2010 when the discovery of golf helped build his confidence, regain his balance and support mental strength – foundations which have now led him to be the first double above the knee amputee to attempt to summit Everest.
The intervention of the On Course Foundation, who help build confidence and self-esteem through golf, was a key turning point in Hari’s rehabilitation, something he says, “changed my whole outlook – maybe even saved my life.”
Hari first picked up a golf club in 2013, three years after the disastrous explosion that claimed his legs.
Having joined one of the On Course Foundation events, Hari worked with golf pros alongside other veterans where he learnt the skills, and know-how around the sport.
Over the following years of playing and learning from professional coaches, Hari developed his game and even represented GB in the Simpson Cup at Maidstone Golf Club in New York – the equivalent of the Ryder Cup for disabled golfers.
“Focussing on golf was a life saver for me,” says Hari. “Without that platform to build my confidence and mental strength – I would never be chasing my dream of summiting Everest.”
Sir Nick Faldo, golfing legend, three-time Open and Masters champion when heard about Hari’s story added: “I’d always believed that golf could change people’s lives, but Hari’s story is so remarkable and inspiring.
“Many of us have our moments of inspiration, mine was watching Jack Nicklaus at the 1971 Masters on our first colour TV. But to see the sport I love play such a pivotal role in changing lives, and inspiring people like Hari to push themselves to literally the top of the world – takes the passion and determination I had for golf to a whole new level.”
Hari will take on the world’s tallest mountain in May 2023 – making history as the first double above the knee amputee to do so.
Through his expedition, Hari hopes to inspire veterans, and others with a disability, to realise that ANYONE can achieve their dreams, no matter how big or impossible they may seem.
However, to attempt the Everest summit, Hari needs to raise over £300,000.
To help reach this monumental target, Hari has launched a Crowdfunder campaign and is calling on the golfing community to support his expedition.
“Without the team at On Course Foundation introducing me to golf, there is no way I’d have the confidence and strength to take on my ultimate challenge – Everest,” said Hari.
“The human body is just not designed to operate at that altitude. But add to that my challenges with mobility and speed, and there is a whole new layer of difficulty.
“It’ll take me three times longer than able bodied climbers, so I’m resigned to the fact that I’ll be starting earlier and finishing later. We’ve also planned two extra camps if they are needed.
“That means more kit, and a greater risk for all of us on the mountain – so we are planning out every detail.”
The 43-year-old from Canterbury is being trained by, and climbing with, Krishna Thapa, former Chief Mountain Instructor at the SAS and world-renowned climber, with 9 months to prepare for the ultimate summit attempt in May 2023.
He will climb to the 8,848.86m (29,029ft) summit of Everest across the South Col route from Nepal, negotiating some of the world’s toughest mountaineering conditions.
Cutting-edge equipment and technology will be important, and Hari is working with the same experts who adapted his prosthetic legs for golf to create new technologies allowing him to attempt Everest.
John Simpson, Founder of On Course Foundation, said: “Golf is the perfect leveller in sport. No matter what your skill or disability, the handicap system allows anyone to compare themselves with the best in the world.
“Hari is one of many veterans we have worked with, yet his story from the mental and physical challenges of dealing with his horrific injuries – to the drive and determination to summit Everest is one that defies belief.
“Along with the rest of the world we will be following every step Hari takes on his quest to stand atop of the world.”
To support Hari’s Everest expedition, visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/harieverest