The Open: Peter Alliss charity provides boost to kids

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Legendary golf commentator Peter Alliss helped bring smiles to three NI schoolchildren today after presenting them with powered wheelchairs.

Alliss, widely regarded as ‘the voice of golf’, runs an annual fundraising campaign – the Peter Alliss Masters Wheelchair Crusade – to buy bespoke chairs for needy children across the UK.

The charity has been going since the 1970s, and since then many golf clubs and other organisations have helped raise over £7m for the worthy cause.

The last time the Open tournament was held at Portrush in 1951, Alliss was one of the stars.

Today, outside the Open Shop at Royal Portrush, the BBC golf commentator was joined by his wife Jackie to present the new chairs to James Little, 13, and Euin Moore, 10, both pupils at Fleming Fulton, Belfast, and Saoirse Ryan-Lunn, 10, a pupil at St John’s Primary School, Coleraine.

The Peter Alliss Masters is run by golfers – all unpaid volunteers – and its main aims are to encourage and support clubs who get involved and raise money to buy chairs for children in their local area.

The campaign is held every year in conjunction with the Open, and this one – the first on the island of Ireland – was organised by Michael Moss, the former secretary/manager at Portstewart Golf Club.

Michael told the News Letter: “It was lovely to see the smiles on the faces of those three children this morning and it made it all worthwhile.”

Sarah Little, whose son James was one of the recipients, said the youngsters all felt “very privileged” to have been chosen by the charity this year.