The largest and most inclusive golf competition in the country for disabled golfers is set to take place at Old Thorns Golf & Country Club, Hampshire, on 24-25 August. The organisers of the inaugural Disabled British Open are confident of attracting competitors from across the country for the pan-disability event.
Supported by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), the competition promises to be the only event in the country open to all disabilities, including blind, amputee, special needs, and wheelchair-bound golfers, and will be broadcast by Sky Sports as part of its golf coverage.
Richard Saunders, chairman of the golf section of the British Amputee and Les Autres Sports Association (BALASA), said: “The Disabled British Open is going to be a groundbreaking event bringing golfers with a wide range of disabilities together to compete on a level playing field.
“It’s fantastic to see that organisations such as SEEDA acknowledge the importance in promoting disability within sports. This event will not only build the profile of golf for people with disabilities, but ensure a lasting legacy for all disabled athletes in the run up to the London 2012 Paralympics.”
The two-day event will be the first of its kind in the South East, and a fun day out for all the family as it is free for the public to enter.
Oona Muirhead, SEEDA’s executive director, skills & sustainable prosperity, added, “SEEDA is delighted to be part of this event and help raise awareness of disability sport, specifically golf, in the UK. Golf is a highly popular game and there are some great business opportunities to extend its popularity to disabled players.
“To help businesses improve their skills and knowledge of disability, a business seminar will be held around the tournament. Through promoting disabled golf to a wider audience, we can not only create an event to help those with difficulties achieve their goals and fulfill their potential, but also stimulate the economy in these difficult times.
“This event will explore the economic viability of the disability sports market by working with the University of Southampton and Stoke Mandeville, hence generating opportunities of innovation for businesses in a more permanent and sustainable manner.”
The event will also offer both able bodied and disabled people the opportunity to try golf for the first time and receive free coaching from qualified Professional Golfers’ Association professionals.
The event is being organised by Petersfield-based golf-event specialists The Azalea Group. The company is looking for volunteers interested in marshalling, scoring and spotting over the course of the two days.
Disabled British Open www.disabledbritishopen.org.