Europe deal boon for inclusive golf

Christian Hamilton and Tony Bennett
Christian Hamilton and EDGA president Tony Bennett in Portugal.

Golf Australia has become an Affiliate Member of the European Disabled Golf Association in recognition of its growing work in support of golfers with a disability.

Golf Australia has this week been welcomed into the EDGA international family during the organisation’s Annual Assembly, taking place at Pestana Vila Sol, on Portugal’s Algarve.

EDGA assists golfers with a disability to compete internationally and sees them as "golfers first".

EDGA is supported by the European Tour, the R&A and 18 of Europe’s national golf federations, plus several valued partners.

Supported by globally respected health and disability experts, the organisation is currently in discussions with the International Golf Federation as it seeks to influence the Paralympic bodies so that elite golfers with a disability are able to take their golf to the highest international level.

Australia joins EDGA as it continues to strengthen its support for golfers with disability through PGA coaching, developing participation programs and the development of competition at different levels.

The link with EDGA will afford Australian golfers the chance to play in EDGA events (12 tournaments were held in 2016) and also to register their scores to be part of the international Ranking for Golfers with Disability, supported by PING.

EDGA president Tony Bennett said: “All the members at the 2016 EDGA Annual Assembly were delighted to welcome Golf Australia to become an Affiliate Member of this organisation.

"Christian Hamilton spoke with great enthusiasm and expertise about Australia’s vision for growing the game for golfers with disability, which reflects this country’s love for sport for all, and fits perfectly with our inclusive message that all who take part are `golfers first’.” 

Christian Hamilton, GA National Inclusion Manager, said this was an important step forward in developing the game and opportunities for golfers to compete at the highest level.

“We are especially excited to work with EDGA in providing Australian golfers with disability opportunities to showcase their talent on an international level," he said.

"This agreement will allow Australia to co-sanction events with Europe, a positive step forward toward Paralympic inclusion with an application in process through the IGF for the 2024 games."

This announcement coincides with International Day for People with Disability on Saturday, 3 December.

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