The European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) raised €22,500 as the European Tour’s Official Charity of the 2016 Portugal Masters, which finished on Sunday (23rd October).
As the eventual champion Padraig Harrington battled it out with Andy Sullivan and other top players, EDGA enjoyed a unique profile throughout the week at Vilamoura courtesy of the European Tour. The EDGA team and volunteers were able to raise funds during the tournament which will be spent on a groundbreaking project to introduce children with disability to golf.
The project is also supported by the Portuguese Tourism Board, and will effectively start during the EDGA Algarve Open in December at Vila Sol (December 1-3). Here, a group of coaches will be trained to deliver golf to children with disability, enabling them to work across Portugal, visiting rehabilitation centres and disability groups to share the fun of golf with youngsters and their families.
EDGA is in an excellent position to support the expansion of initiatives which promote the development and delivery of golf for individuals with impairment across Europe, working with 18 national golf federations. While its own Tournament Series has grown from four events in 2013 to 12 in 2016 with a truly international feel, EDGA members wish to support all golfers with disability at the grass roots of the game and encourage new players of all ages.
The EDGA President said: “We would like to offer a huge thank you to the European Tour for selecting EDGA as Official Charity for the 2016 Portugal Masters. This opportunity enabled some wonderful volunteers to support us, and a challenge by the Million Dollar Hole-in-One during the Pro-Am helped raise €22,500, which can all be spent directly on introducing youngsters with disability to golf in Portugal.
“The Portuguese Tourism Board, the European Tour, the Algarve Tourism Association and other organisations in this country are helping EDGA to reach more individuals with disability through this project. Our thanks go to all those involved. They will help us to improve sporting choices, social opportunities and confidence levels for children as they enjoy golf. This sport can be a wonderful lifetime activity and should be made available to everyone wherever possible.”
EDGA has been supported in 2016 by The Ryder Cup European Development Trust, The R&A, the European Tour, PING (PING staff player Lee Westwood is also an EDGA Ambassador), Glenmuir and The Algarve Tourism Association.
EDGA will report further on the progress of the pilot project to help youngsters with disability during the EDGA Algarve Open in December.
European Disabled Golf Association www.edgagolf.com