Meet­ing Spring­boks chance of a life­time for dis­abled young golfers

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTER

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.