The Golf Foundation worked alongside the team from EDGA in the ‘Swingzone’ during the week of The Open at Royal Liverpool: our charity’s team highly impressed with EDGA’s blueprint to introduce people with a disability of all ages to the benefits of golf, all around the world – looking to find 500,000 new golfers through its work.
As EDGA welcomed regional charities to experience golf at The Open, our staff joined an excellent session with young people from the Limbo Foundation (which provides limb different children, families, and their friends with support to do all the things they love), helping EDGA’s development specialist Mark Taylor as he showed the youngsters just what they could achieve with a Golfway golf club, a ball, a target, and a little inspiration and encouragement.
Both the Golf Foundation and EDGA use Golfway equipment to start people in golf because it is safe, easy to try and great fun for first-time players, and can be used to create games to learn golf and build confidence. It is also highly adaptable and can be played in many settings.
Golf Foundation Regional Development Officers Stacey NcNicholas and Gavin Forsyth followed Mark Taylor’s lead and delivered the second half of the session with the children from Limbo.
Stacey said: “They were a superb group of youngsters, very enthusiastic and supporting one another. We enjoyed learning details from Mark about how to best assist young first time golfers with different impairments, and our team was able to learn more about EDGA’s work. As a charity, we are constantly developing our golf delivery and programmes to support youngsters with a disability and are keen to develop our skill sets further; we all need to keep learning.”
New sampler golfers with a range of impairments including physical, sensory, and intellectual, from four regional charities (the Limbo Foundation, Eastham Day Centre, Mencap Wirral and Autism Together Wirral), were welcomed by EDGA to the Swingzone. Here, they were introduced to EDGA’s ‘D3’ first-touch format that can be used in non-golf venues, from schools and hospitals to faith and cultural centres.
After Mark’s recent training, the volunteers and staff from the charities can now deliver sampler sessions in their community, and EDGA will provide further support and education refreshers in the future. EDGA is an association of 39 countries worldwide and is seeking to spread this highly adaptable start in golf to help people with a disability to thrive through exploring golf.
Meanwhile, the Golf Foundation team trained staff and volunteers in five of the area’s special educational needs schools in the run-up to The Open, to bring golf to their children in the school and club setting, as part of The Road to The Open project supported by The R&A. One of these schools, Bidston Village Primary, was the proud winner of the project’s first ‘Open 4 All’ trophy.
The Foundation and EDGA have met to discuss the possibility that the charity’s RDOs could receive EDGA training in the coming months to support their delivery to children with physical, sensory and intellectual differences.