Date: March 20, 2009

Blind golfers on course for success

Golf Australia has announced it will be working with the Australian Blind Golf Association to ensure more people with a vision impairment get into golf. The initiative is part of the Australian Sports Commission s Sports CONNECT program which has been specifically designed to assist sport to create inclusive development, participation and competition opportunities for people with a disability. The formal memorandum of understanding sets out that the two parties will co-operate in the provision and development of services and golf opportunities for blind and vision impaired people at all levels. This includes the joint development of coaching opportunities and the provision of education materials relating to the needs of blind golfers. Specifically, these services include the development of inclusive coach training modules (in conjunction with the PGA of Australia), guidelines to assist clubs to meet the needs of blind golfers and providing assistance through training of caddies and rules officials. Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt said the agreement would reaffirm golf as a truly inclusive sport. There are many benefits to this agreement but most importantly it heightens our ability to ensure we can assist blind or vision impaired people to get involved in golf, Pitt said. By working with the Australian Blind Golf Association, we can use their knowledge and ensure any new programs are effective. Australian Blind Golf Association President David Blyth AO said the memorandum of understanding would provide enhanced opportunities for blind golfers in Australia to participate in the sport at all levels. This follows the establishment of a similar memorandum of understanding between Golf Australia, Deaf Sport Australia and Deaf Golf Australia.