The future of golf for the disabled in South Africa received a significant boost after the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation pledged funding which will help blood the next generation of golf talent in South Africa.
While golf for the disabled is in a fantastic place at the moment, the SADGA and Golf RSA are always striving to cast their net even wider and introduce more persons with permanent disabilities to the game. To this end, the funding provided by the ADLF will allow 45 South African PGA Professionals to participate in training courses which will equip them with the requisite knowledge to coach individuals with disabilities.
Once the coaches have achieved a certain level of competency, their mandate will be to offer 10 lessons to five individuals who have never played golf before. A simple calculation shows that if each of the 45 teaching professionals introduce five individuals with a permanent disability to the game, 225 new individuals will be integrated into South African golf for the disabled. Moreover, these individuals will enjoy the abundant health and well-being benefits that are unique to golf.
Mark Taylor, head of development for EDGA (formerly the European Disabled Golf Association) remarked that this collaborative effort has the potential to make a significant and long-lasting impact on golf for the disabled in South Africa.
“This collective project with ADLF, EDGA and Golf RSA presents a huge opportunity to assist with developing golf provision for people with disabilities, focusing on driving new participants with disabilities into the game,” said Taylor.
“The significant financial support will leave a great legacy within South Africa to support the integration of these new players into the sport, clubs, facilities and competitive ranks.”
Taylor outlined the variety of resources available to the coaches which will help them maximise their impact on the players they teach.
“Through EDGA and the ADLF we will be able to assist coaches via virtual and live training sessions in understanding adaptive coaching, whilst also creating participation programmes to encourage new people with disabilities to experience the game and its many health and well-being benefits,” he added.
Golf for the disabled has the potential to radically alter perceptions of golf in the country. The collective success of SADGA and Golf RSA to date lies in their ability to transcend racial and socioeconomic divides and in so doing cultivate an incredibly inclusive environment.
Furthermore, EDGA has already implemented this educational model successfully in a number of countries in recent times. Their input will no doubt be invaluable throughout the project. Together, the potential for positive change in golf for the disabled in South Africa is limitless.
The Professional Golfers Association of South Africa’s Andrew Gunn expressed his excitement at the opportunity to upskill South African coaches through the project.
“We are very excited to be working with EDGA and the ADLF project. A number of our coaches in different regions are already involved with SADGA projects and we see this as being a great opportunity to both upskill them and to bring new PGA coaches into the fold,” said Gunn.
Gunn also applauded the work done by EDGA and its president Tony Bennett to raise awareness around the potential for growth within golf for the disabled.
“EDGA and Tony Bennett have done wonderful work in growing awareness of the number of potential golfers with disability and the benefits for them in learning to play golf and we are looking forward to doing this in South Africa.”
The South African Disabled Golf Association and Golf RSA wishes to extend a sincere thank you to the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation and EDGA for their collective efforts to take golf for the disabled in South Africa to even greater heights through this wonderful project.
For more information about SADGA, please visit www.sadga.co.za or follow SADGA on
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