Date: December 21, 2007

ASC grant to help develop pathways for participation

Since being promoted to Silver level in the Australian Sports Commission&aposs Sport CONNECT program, Golf Australia is set to receive a $100,000 commitment from the ASC over six years to continue developing pathways for golfers with a disability. Sport CONNECT is a unique initiative driven by the Commission that has been specifically designed to prepare sport for the inclusion of people with a disability at all levels from grass roots to elite. Nick Green OAM, Director – Game and Club Development, Golf Australia said, “This grant gives Golf Australia greater freedom to continue exploring means of connecting people with a disability to the game of golf. “Golf Australia has spent a lot of time identifying strategies that map ways in which we can achieve this goal and the Sport CONNECT program has been an integral part of the process.” The principle of &aposinclusion&apos has been identified as a key platform of the strategic plan and as a result, Golf Australia has been well supported by the ASC&aposs Sports CONNECT program. To help introduce people with a disability to the game of golf, various steps and initiatives have been devised which will be carried out in conjunction with the ASC including: Development of a national golf disability policy and a four-year action plan Formation of a Sport CONNECT steering committee comprising representatives from the ASC, Golf Australia, the PGA, State Golf Associations and disability organisations Development of formal relationships with disability golf organisations representing participants in each disability category Education and training of Golf Australia Staff to ensure that all areas of the organisation act in an inclusive manner Working with the PGA to develop a coaching system that provides training for coaches on how to work with athletes with a disability as well as offering pathways for coaches with a disability Provision of training for officials (rules & tournament administration) and also administrative support from national and State Golf Associations. Development of grass roots programs includes a module for delivery of golf in special schools Announcing the arrangement at the recent MFS Australian Open, Green added, “As a celebration of the commitment by the ASC, we invited six players with a disability compete in the Pro Am at the 2007 MFS Australian Open.” “It was a great thrill for these players to step out on to the fairways of The Australian Golf Club and mix it with some of the best players in the world. I wish them the best of luck and hope they will be the first of thousands of golfers with a disability to benefit from the work and vision of Golf Australia.”