Kettering teen golfer wins award for diabetes fundraising

Gracie receives her Hero's Handshake award from Young Ambassador Ali Jodiyawalla
Gracie receives her Hero's Handshake award from Young Ambassador Ali Jodiyawalla

A rising star of golf was presented with an award from England Golf to celebrate her achievements outside of the sport after she raised more than £6,000 for a diabetes charity.

Gracie Murray, 15, was presented with a Hero's Handshake last week in a surprise ceremony at Kettering Buccleuch Academy to celebrate her fundraising for diabetes after she was diagnosed with type one diabetes this year.

Gracie said: "I was really shocked to get this award and the reaction has been amazing.

"When I was first diagnosed it was worrying and then when I played golf at the beginning I was a bit tired."

Gracie was diagnosed with diabetes in February this year and said the diagnosis was a complete shock.

Her mum, Suzanne, said: "When she was diagnosed her only thought was about what it meant for her golf.

“The diagnosis had come out of the blue and she was worried about the practical side of dealing with Diabetes - how she could inject herself on a golf course and how would it affect her fitness?

“But she soon got her head round it and then – completely off her own back – decided to organise a charity golf day to raise funds."

Gracie organised a charity golf day at Kettering Golf club and is donating the proceeds to Kettering Diabetes Support Group and the junior golf club in Kettering.

She said: "The charity day was a lot of hard work as we had 84 people playing in 21 teams, but I had a lot of support from my family and people at the club and I have to thank them."

The day raised a total of £6,040.

Gracie's efforts were recognised by England Golf's youth team, The Young Ambassadors, who give a Hero's Handshake each month to recognise and celebrate what young golfers are achieving outside of the game.

Her friends and family attended the ceremony held at Gracie's school and she was presented with her award by Young Ambassador Ali Jodiyawalla.

Gracie's mum Suzanne said: "It was difficult keeping it a secret from her, but we were all so proud to see her receive this award after a difficult year.

"As a family we're all so incredibly proud of what she has done."

Gracie said she's turned her diagnosis into a positive and has improved her handicap from a 12 to a nine.