Date: April 06, 2008

Striving to create pathways to participation

In an endeavour to continually increase participation, Golf Australia, Deaf Sport Australia and Deaf Golf Australia have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly-develop and promote strategies to increase opportunities for people with a hearing disability. The initiative has been implemented as part of the Australian Sports Commission&aposs &aposSports CONNECT&apos program, which has been specifically designed to prepare sport for the inclusion of people with a disability at all levels from grassroots to elite. The memorandum is supported by funding from the Australian Government through Deaf Sports Australia and says the three parties will co-operate in the provision and development of services and golf opportunities for deaf and hearing impaired people at all levels. This includes the joint development of coaching opportunities and selection procedures according to Golf Australia and World Deaf Golf Federation standards. Nick Green, Director of Game and Industry Development at Golf Australia, said “The agreement is an exciting and valuable opportunity for the golfing industry to build sustainable relationships with Deaf Golf organisations which will in turn, significantly increase opportunities for participation in the game. “This is the first of many formal relationships to be established between Golf Australia and disability sports organisations that represent participants in each category of disability.” Brent Phillips, President of Deaf Sports Australia said, “The memorandum of understanding has established a benchmark for other sports to follow. We are looking forward to working with Golf Australia and Deaf Golf Australia to create more opportunities for deaf golfers to participate in the sport at a local, national and international level. Robert Bowler, President of Deaf Golf Australia said, “This marks the culmination of significant discussions throughout the last 12 months that we hope will result in better opportunities for our deaf golfers. “The timing also couldn&apost have been better as we prepare to host the World Deaf Golf Championships at Joondalup Resort in Western Australia in October 2008. Thank you to Deaf Sports Australia and Golf Australia for their excellent and ongoing support.”