Meeting Springboks chance of a lifetime for disabled young golfers
A GROUP of disabled young golfers were star-struck when they got the opportunity to meet South Africa’s national rugby team.
In addition to meeting the Springboks, the youngsters, who were from the South African Disabled Golf Association (Sadga), also got the chance to interact with the coaching staff.
Newly appointed Sport and Recreation Minister Thulas Nxesi was among the guests and spoke to the youngsters and interacted with the ’Boks.
The once-in-a-lifetime meeting occurred on the eve of the Boks final 2017 Castle Lager Incoming Series Test against France in Joburg.
The event was made possible by Canon SA.
“The meeting with the Springbok team was a memorable experience for the children,” Canon’s Dana Eitzen said.
Their decision to sponsor the occasion came after a fundraising event in Joburg, held by the Chris Burger and Petro Jackson Players’ Fund. The initiative seeks to provide assistance to catastrophically injured rugby players in the country, she said.
Canon has been working with Sadga since 2001.
“Over the years, the company’s involvement has continued to grow and blossom, with its support focusing on the First Swing Programme,” Eitzen said.
This year, the company became the title sponsor of the South African Disabled Golf Open, which attracts some of the world’s top golfers with disabilities.
The First Swing Programme offers a platform which exposes children with disabilities to the game of golf.
The programme focused on the rehabilitation and psychological development of disabled children, Eitzen said
“The programme is operational at 35 schools across the country, with some 860 children benefiting every week.”
The First Swing Programme also provides a modified sports environment where children with disabilities can participate in sport and be part of a group.
“It has tremendous benefits, increasing self-esteem, confidence, respect, responsibility, honesty, integrity and perseverance,” said Eitzen.
Playing golf had shown to have exceptional physical and emotional benefits for people with disabilities. The initiative has improved the lives of many disabled youngsters.
“We have seen first-hand the positive impact of the programme on the rehabilitation and psychological development of young people with disabilities,” said Eitzen.
“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a child with disabilities overcome their challenges.”
Sport helps them to overcome their challenges
DAY TO REMEMBER: The disabled children met Sport and Recreation Minister Thulas Nxesi, left, and the Springboks as part of the First Swing Programme.