John Stirk

John Stirk

sco Scotland
Current Team
Scotland – Sport Parkinson’s Four Nations Golf 2021

Playing sport has been a very important part of my life. It has always given me great enjoyment and kept me physically fit. Over the years I have played various sports but golf and hillwalking have been the dominant ones over the last 30 years.

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2008 and it came as quite a shock. How could I have Parkinson’s when I was so physically fit? I’d climbed all the Scottish Munros, I’d ridden over the Andes on horseback and my golf handicap was 11. I thought the diagnosis must be wrong, but it wasn’t.

Both my GP and Parkinson’s Specialist told me to keep doing activities and for the next few years my wife and I continued to go on high level trekking holidays or horse riding in various parts of the world. As I’ve reached 82, the hills I climb now are not as extreme as those in the past but still present a physical challenge. My golf handicap is much higher but I continue to play competitive golf to a reasonable standard 3 times a week. My other hobbies are Scottish Country dancing (when Covid restrictions allow), learning Spanish and reading.

Getting Parkinson’s hasn’t stopped me from enjoying an active sporting lifestyle. I have to plan my days more, remember to take rest days and consider my age (!) as well as my condition. But my wife and I still manage to lead an active, healthy, happy life.

I am very much looking forward to playing in the Sport Parkinson’s Four Nations Golf Event at the Belfry in October and I’m delighted to be part of the Scotland Team. I hope the event raises awareness of the importance of sport to health and that the money donated will further progress research into the Parkinson’s condition.