03 Dec 2021 | All Abilities |
Get Into Golf All Abilities hits major milestone
by Golf Australia
On International Day of People with Disability, Get Into Golf All Abilities has marked the occasion by celebrating its 100th program delivered since the initiative was launched in August 2020.
The introductory golf program is delivered by PGA All Abilities coaches who hold an accreditation in inclusive coaching by the PGA of Australia and Golf Australia that focuses on the ability of coaches to modify activities to suit differing levels of ability.
Developed in 2016, the PGA All Abilities Coach Accreditation attracted more than 180 PGA Professionals to complete the course and run important community programs that link people with disability to mainstream sport and recreation opportunities in their local communities.
“Having the flexible design of national programs such as Get Into Golf paired with a professional workforce skilled in modifying activity is a perfect combination in giving people with disability access to mainstream sporting opportunities,” Christian Hamilton, Snr Manager of Programs and Inclusion, said.
To ensure that the absence of a PGA Professional at a club is not a barrier to entry, Golf Australia launched the Community Instructor All Abilities module in November 2020 to upskill volunteers and disability support workers running their own Get Into Golf All Abilities programs.
The “grassroots” entry point into the game is also well supported by new and emerging pathways for people with disability.
“We offer dual pathways where people with disability can make their own choices on how they want to participate in our game. Players are increasingly looking to gain classification into our All Abilities and State Inclusive Championships whilst others prefer to participate at our 1,600+ clubs and facilities around the country or follow both pathways," Hamilton said.
The players are also incredibly supported by National and State Disability Golf Association, while Blind Golf Australia, Deaf Golf Australia, Amputee Golf Australia, Special Olympics Australia and Empower Golf Australia are great examples of communities where people with disability can have additional opportunities to participate in golf.
In addition to the great work of those organisations, Hamilton believes that enormous room for growth remains.
“There are over 4 million Australians living with disability. The importance of ongoing physical activity and social connectedness is so important for health and wellbeing. There is no other sport positioned in a way where we truly integrate like we do with golf. With this in mind, there is no reason why golf can’t be the sport of choice for people with disability," he said.
“We are also seeing the global emergence of golf for people with disability through events like the Australian All Abilities Championship and growing support from the European tour more recently with 5 new EDGA events integrated into the broadcast at European Tour events. This will only continue to grow into the future”.
Add the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and more Australians with disability are using their NDIS plans to work with PGA All Abilities coaches in designing a pathway back to community mainstream sport.
To find out more visit: www.golf.org.au/allabilities
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