Kids get a chance for a golf swing

2016-10-25 10:38
The South African Disabled Golf Association hosted its golf programme for schoolchildren with disabilities at King David Mowbray Golf Club for the first time last Wednesday.

The South African Disabled Golf Association hosted its golf programme for schoolchildren with disabilities at King David Mowbray Golf Club for the first time last Wednesday.

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King David Mowbray Golf Club hosted the South African Disabled Golf Association’s (SADGA) First Swing Programme, presented by Canon, last Wednesday.

Children with varying disabilities from six schools participated in the event, which was hosted in Cape Town for the first time.

The participating schools were Eros School from Athlone, Eden School from Worcestor, Carpe Diem School from George, Astra School from Montana, Thembalethu from Khayelitsha and Filia School from Parow.

For many of the children it was the first time they had the chance to pit their skills in a regional competition against other emerging golfers who too have overcome disability.

“Through our First Swing Programme we create a modified sports environment where children with disabilities can participate in sport and feel part of a group,” says SADGA CEO Eugene Vorster.

BenefitsVorster adds that the programme has benefits for each participant, whereby he is able to improve on his self-esteem, confidence, responsibility, honesty, integrity and perseverance.

“We constantly look for and work to create opportunities for young golfers to play in competitions. For the Canon First Swing Cape Town interschools golf day, we created a five-hole competition to allow our level 2 and 3 players the opportunity to get a taste of a real golf tournament on a course they are able to play. It was a wonderful experience for our young players,” says Vorster.

Canon SA has been closely involved with the SADGA since 2001. Its support focuses specifically on the First Swing initiative.

“Playing golf has shown to have exceptional physical and emotional benefits for people with disabilities. During our association with SADGA, we have seen first-hand the positive impact of the programme on the rehabilitation and psychological development of young people with disabilities,” says Dana Eitzen, spokesperson of Canon SA.

LearnersThe young players who participated in the event are part of SADGA’s First Swing Programme, which works to develop skills and create a passion for golf amongst young schoolchildren with disabilities.

All of the participants are level 2 and 3 golfers on the First Swing Programme and are able to play four to nine holes of regular golf.

“There is probably nothing more rewarding than to see a child, bold enough to believe, achieve what few imagined was possible. It was wonderful to see the young golfers participating in the Canon First Swing Cape Town interschools golf tournament. These are children who have showed dedication, commitment and passion to learn, to try and to never give up on their dreams of playing a sport,” says Eitzen.

The First Swing Programme offers a platform which exposes children with disabilities to the game of golf.

The primary focus of the programme is on rehabilitation and psychological development of disabled children. The programme is operational in 35 schools across the country, with some 800 children benefitting every week.

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