27 February 2024

Toby's Big Ball Slap gets golfers in the swing for charity

| Chris Roe
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three young men playing golf

The lads tee off on the first Big Ball Slap charity golf day in 2023. Photos: Supplied.

Wagga teenager Toby Holt is living his best life and is still buzzing from his date with Taylor Swift and more than 80,000 ”Swifties” at one of her sold-out Aussie shows.

“He said it was fantastic and he was just blown away from start to finish,” said dad Steve Holt, adding that staff and fans had been “so helpful” as Toby and mum Louise navigated his wheelchair around the stadium.

“People bag each other out a lot and complain sometimes, but at the end of the day, we do help each other out.”

Toby has been relying more on his wheelchair in the past few months as his symptoms from Juvenile Huntington’s Disease (JHD) have become more severe.

“His balance is pretty ordinary, but he’s still out there giving it a go and has that typical teenage independent attitude of ‘I can do it’,” said Steve with a chuckle.

“We’ve got some great carers that help him out too and he still keeps pretty busy.”

teenager at large-scale music concert

Toby was fortunate enough to score tickets to the hottest show in town.

JHD is a neurodegenerative disorder that has impacted Toby’s mobility and speech, and Steve is no longer working so that he can be available for his son.

Since Toby’s diagnosis in March 2022, a group of mates has rallied behind the family to help raise much-needed funds for his care.

“Last year, the boys heard that Toby liked his golf and so they organised a fundraiser event for him,” said Steve, explaining the origin of the Toby’s Big Ball Slap day.

The second charity golf day event will be held on Friday, 15 March, at the Wagga City Golf Club.

“It was a great success, but we did it in February and we found that it was a bit too warm and I think it was actually the hottest day we’d had,” said Steve.

“So this year we’ll start a bit later and we’ve got the sponsors coming back, and if we can get a few more on board it would be good.”

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After a barbecue lunch and an arvo on the greens, the event will conclude with a charity auction.

“The more the merrier,” said Steve.

“Anyone’s invited to get involved on the day, and the City Golf Club’s welcomed us back with open arms and they have been coming up with all sorts of ideas that they are throwing at the boys who are organising.

“It should be a lot of fun!”

For bookings or more information, you can email the Riverina Hotel.

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