WATCH: Highland Heroes 2023 volunteer of the year was inspired by son to help others get to grips with golf
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AS so often with those who get involved in volunteering it was circumstances close to home that inspired Ronnie Mitchell to get in the swing of it.
Our Highland Heroes volunteer of the year has always been a keen golfer and was often accompanied on the course by his son David.
At first sitting in the golf buggy David, who has learning disabilities, was aged six when he picked up a golf club for the first time and basically never looked back.
In 2005 he won gold at the Special Olympics held that year in Glasgow and it was this triumph that inspired his father to launch the Highland Disability Golf Club, dedicating himself to helping others with learning disabilities to take part in the sport.
Mr Mitchell's award was enthusiastically cheered by supporters and well-wishers and it was clear he was a popular winner well-regarded for all he has done.
Mr Mitchell (76) has now taken players to five Special Olympics as well as British Open and World Open competitions plus six Scottish Championships including at Muir of Ord, the first time the competition had been held in the Highlands.
He organises everything players need including transport and uniforms as well as running awards nights and raising the money the club needs to function.
One of those who nominated him as a Highland Hero said: “He does all this selflessly and that’s why I and countless others consider him a Highland hero.”
Typically modest Mr Michell said: “I don’t count myself as a hero. It’s just something I love doing.
"When David started playing golf that’s what got me going and it just goes on and on.
"We have a lot of great helpers at the club and we’re so proud of all our players. It’s a pleasure to be involved with them.”