New opportunities for people with disabilities17th September, 2012 by Colin Victor
The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) is targeting disabled people in a bid to encourage more of them to try golf.
Just weeks after the Disabled British Open, which itself took place a few days before the Paralympics started in London, the PGA has stated it is eager to alert disabled people to the opportunities in golf.
In the past four months more than 40 PGA professionals have undertaken a specially designed academy programme equipping them with the skills to teach golfers with a range of disabilities.
Craig Thomas, lead disability coach for Staffordshire County Golf Partnership, has played a key role in tutoring many of his fellow PGA professionals at workshops to equip them with the knowledge and confidence to teach golf to all people no matter their physical impairment.
“From personal experience and seeing others who have given it a try, it is remarkable how much of an impact golf can make,” he said.
“I have been fortunate to coach many blind and disabled people and golf gives them an opportunity to do something new, it gives them hope and encouragement and with more PGA professionals adept at dealing with the unique challenges of disability, the sport is becoming much more accessible.
“Any disabled people who have been inspired to try sport by the Paralympics I would encourage to contact their local county golf partnership [CGP] to find out the opportunities available.”
“The PGA’s commitment to increase the number of PGA pros specialising in disabled coaching is part of its Right Coach; Right Place; Right Time coaching vision for golf, stretching from grass roots level through to elite tour golf,” added Jane Booth, head of coaching systems for the PGA.
“Disability needn’t be a barrier to playing sport and through the skills of our PGA professionals, many disabled people have a marvellous opportunity to get out and try something new and most importantly which is fun and enjoyable.”