The Seve Ballesteros Foundation and the Aladina Foundation have created a facility dedicated to golf for children with cancer

Miguel Ballesteros y Paco Arango durante la inauguración del espacio de golf en un hospital
  • This project is now operational at the Gregorio Marañon Hospital in Madrid.
  • The Children will have a golf teacher twice a week.

The Seve Ballesteros Foundation and the Aladina Foundation have created a facility dedicated to golf for children and teenagers suffering from cancer at the Gregorio Marañon Hospital in Madrid. This project helps children with cancer while in the hospital.

The facility has been created on five balconies situated on the third floor next to the Oncohaematology Paediatric Ward of the Maternity and Children’s Hospital in the medical centre. Every Monday and Tuesday morning a golf teacher from the Seve Ballesteros Foundation with the help of volunteers from the Aladina Foundation teach the youngsters. The children admitted into hospital can enjoy golf classes and some recreational activities in the open air. There are areas dedicated to golf on artificial grass divided into mini golf, short game, long game, games, playing area and a sitting area. There is a wide array of materials, specially designed for all ages to learn while at the same time creating a safe environment for the children and their families.

“My brother Javier, sister Carmen and I are delighted with this project which has been developed with the help of the Aladina Foundation”, said Miguel Ballesteros, son of the Spanish golfer, Seve Ballesteros. “It is invaluable to us that golf and its values are part of the children’s recovery process whilst fighting against cancer. The Foundation’s golf programs primary aim is to introduce children to the game of golf.  From which they could benefit emotionally and physically”, he added. 

This is the second facility of this kind supported by the Seve Ballesteros Foundation at a hospital facility. After one was built at Marqués de Valdecilla Hospital, Santander, this facility in Madrid is the first intended specifically for oncologic patients. For this the Seve Ballesteros Foundation signed a collaboration agreement with the Aladina Foundation,who had already undertaken several projects at the Gregorio Marañon Hospital, with the support of Mercedes-Benz Spain.

With this project, Seve’s spirit remains alive. More alive than ever with the work of his Foundation which honours his life and sports career. It also preserves his legacy and funds clinical investigations into cancer, as well as promotes golf and its values among children. “Thanks to the generosity of the Ballesteros Family, the young in-patients at the Gregorio Marañon Hospital can become passionate about playing the game of golf. The balcony of the hospital has been turned into a fantastic golf course”, confirms Paco Arango, President of the Aladina Foundation.

Jesús Rodriguez, head of the golf program fostered by the Seve Ballesteros Foundation explains how the process to choose the spaces and build the golf course has taken more than a year. Despite some initial difficulties the site fitted onto five balconies at the Gregorio Marañon Hospital are perfect for the golf activities. “On this second project the Seve Ballesteros Foundation has established a learning scheme to help young patients have fun whilst learning to play golf. We are very enthusiastic about this new project in Madrid. We look forward to sharing time with the young patients and their families during their visits or stays in hospital”, said Jesús Rodriguez.

 Aladina at the Gregorio Marañón

The Aladina Foundation has worked for some years now with the Gregorio Marañon Hospital. The Foundation chaired by Paco Arango has a psycho-oncologist providing free professional help to children and teenagers undergoing cancer treatment at the Gregorio Marañon as well as their parents and siblings. The Aladina Foundation has refurbished and decorated the new teenagers ward. The Foundation has provided new fittings, computers, game consoles, table football, dartboard as well as sofa beds for chaperones in all the rooms.

This non-profit organization also offers therapy with the help of dogs for oncological patients in collaboration with “Perros Azules”. Thanks to this project the young inpatients improve their communication abilities as well as their frame of mind and physical condition.