Glyn Abbey near Llanelli has become the first Welsh club to receive a Golf Foundation grant to help their work introducing the sport to children with a disability.
The West Wales club have just received a £2,500 Golf Roots grant to assist their programme helping approximately 120 children with learning disabilities from nine schools in the area to learn to play golf, under the guidance of the club’s professional Mike Davies.
They have also started piloting the new version of the Golf Foundation Junior Golf Passport which is better designed for children with a disability to follow and achieve.
“We are so excited about the next 12 months,” said Davies, who has already started rolling out the scheme with children from nearby schools in the Llanelli and Carmarthen areas.
“We were looking for a grant to help us service the need which is out there and show there are kids around who will really benefit from playing golf.
“We have already started and it is incredible how some of the children who have never played golf before have taken to it, the way they adjust their swings quickly to the targets in front of them.
“We have been teaching children with learning difficulties here at Glyn Abbey for quite some time and last year we had 140 children from various local schools take part in our Cyfle Teg, (fair opportunity) golf day, having fun and learning golf.
“There were 19 schools involved and we had received a community chest grant for the day, equipment and 18 hours of follow up lessons.
“Demand for the follow up lessons was far greater than we could of ever initially imagined so we started searching for a grant that would help us to meet the demand which is out there.
“We spoke to Stuart Finlay of Golf Development Wales and we are now part of this pilot scheme for children with special educational needs.”
Glyn Abbey is a former Golf Union of Wales club of the Year and had hosted the Special Olympics before also hosting a Four Nations Special Olympics event with Wales, Scotland, England and Ireland in 2011.
The Golf Foundation is one of the main organisations trying to encourage children who might not normally get the chance to take up golf as a ‘sport for life.’
Davies plans the sessions as a fun introduction to the game, although through links with Sport Wales, Disability Sports Wales and the new Golf Passport each session is designed to build locomotor, body management and dexterity skills essential for all sports.
The children are also encouraged to design activities for themselves, to give one another support and answer golf related questions, giving them the opportunity to build their self confidence and life skills.
Golf Union of Wales www.golfunionwales.org
Golf Development Waleswww.golfdevelopmentwales.org
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