Jeroen Coumou, golfer professor with one leg

Sportem
Sportem
5 Min Read

Jeroen Coumou is from Rotterdam. He has the powerful physique of a former rugby player, and a beautiful smile like a good giant. He is a history teacher at a school in South Rotterdam attended by children from difficult family situations.

“My main concern is trying to educate these kids from a human point of view. What I love about teaching is seeing students’ progress, knowing that I have contributed to their education. When guys ask me about my prosthetic leg, I tell about my motorcycle accident, I was a teenager like them when it happened.

I hope my experience can help them in their growth path”

Jeroen Coumou, statements

“I had just met my first girlfriend and we had been dating for three weeks. I had turned 17 for two days. I took my motorcycle, it was a January evening.

In a curve I saw the headlights of an overtaking car coming towards me. I tried to avoid it, but to no avail. My left leg was trapped between the motorcycle and the car, and due to the impact I was thrown to the side of the road several meters away.

My condition was serious, I had lost a lot of blood. In total I remained in the hospital for seven months, undergoing 11 surgeries ” Jeroen goes on to tell how the doctors tried to save first his foot and then his leg, but there was nothing they could do: in the end his leg was amputated above the knee.

“I was still in high school. Of course, the accident completely changes your perspective, it forces you to think about what you can do and what you want to achieve in life, because you no longer have many possibilities.

It takes a long time, especially when you are young, to accept the fact that you have a disability and learn to deal with it ”. “What often happens to people who have suffered a trauma is hiding the problem, hiding it from others, but above all from themselves.

Well, it’s like putting a lid on it. But the lid will never stay forever, sooner or later it will fly off. It happened to me when my first daughter was born, I was 30 years old. I fell into depression and so I sought psychological help, the same help I refused at the age of 17, after the accident “

One of the recommended therapies was to play a sport. That was how Jeroen started playing golf, soon making contact with other Dutch disabled golfers. “Playing golf with other disabled kids has been a great help in the process of accepting my disability.

Before, I had difficulty in relating to other disabled people, in particular with those who had the same disability as me … I went out of my mind, I didn’t feel comfortable, I tried to get away immediately. “I remember my first competition for disabled golfers: a hundred competitors, all in the name of fun and friendship …

for me it was truly discovering a new world. Golf is also a wonderful sport because you can play it even with able-bodied people, so you get the best of both environments ”. “I have finally found my identity and I don’t want to hide anymore.

If you are disabled it is inevitable that people will look at you in a certain way, often unconsciously. You have to get used to it, some make comments, most are very polite and kind, some are just plain rude, but in the end they are things that make you stronger ”.

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