Calls for golf to be included in the Paralympics

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 31, 2021 15:43

There are growing calls for golf to be included as a sport in the 2024 Paralympic Games.

Currently the Olympics, which does include golf as a sport, has twice as many sports (46) than the Paralympics (23), which doesn’t.

According to Golf Travel Centre: ‘As more sports are played in high profile and well-funded events, such as the Paralympics, more individuals are likely to be inspired to get involved, and disabled communities will be elevated as a result. To that end, including more sports, such as golf, is an incredibly important part of growing the sport and the infrastructure around it.

‘Across the globe, there are disabled golfers playing in professional tournaments, and in England, there are over 82,000 people with a disability participating in golf at least once a week.’

Thomas Johansson, owner of UGOLF Academy by Thomas Johansson at Hacienda del Álamo Hotel & SPA Golf Resort, Mar Menor Golf Resort and Marina Golf in Spain, said: “I think it’s very important to add golf to the Paralympics. Golf is a worldwide sport that anyone can play and including golf in the games would bring more awareness to the fact that golf is a lot more inclusive than many people think. Many people would be able to relate how good the athletes are and it would be easier to get funding to create more programmes for those who need it the most. At my academies, we have programmes for players with different abilities. Covid has halted them a bit but we are ready to grow them as soon as things improve.”

Image from the EDGA (European Disabled Golf Association)

Visually impaired and world champion golfer, Paul Appleyard, adds: “Absolutely [golf should be included in the Paralympics.] Where there is a will there will always be a way, however in order for it to happen there have to be some fundamental changes to disabled golf throughout the world. First of all, national and regional governing bodies in individual disciplines, for example blind golf, need to become much more closely aligned. The same can be said for governing bodies of different disability disciplines. In other words, blind golf needs to work more closely with amputee golf and so on. Previously there have been too many differentials between governing bodies, not least the handicapping system.

“A standardised approach needs adopting before anything can be moved forward and the new World Handicap System should help move this forward. Secondly, participation in some disabled golf disciplines needs to increase in order to be accepted as a widely played sport, for example in order to have sufficient numbers of players taking part in a Paralympic event there needs to be far more grass roots participants to choose international representatives from. One of the issues facing disabled athletes is that participation often has to be financed personally or by personal efforts to attract support. In order for the sport to grow and the individual bodies to truly align, much more funding is required to move it from a minority sport to elite sport where it deserves to be.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 31, 2021 15:43
Write a comment

8 Comments

  1. PGA September 12, 16:15

    100% – golf should be included. The WHS could also allow all to compete in one competition. Tony Bennett I s doing some great work with EDGA!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Thermo Fisher Scientific September 8, 11:33

    This really has to happen, the EDGA are showcasing how good these athletes are.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Business Image September 2, 11:25

    It would be a great addition

    Reply to this comment
  4. Nicole September 1, 18:25

    I was just thinking that today. I can’t see why it shouldn’t be included. There are some amazing, talented players out there who would relish the chance to play in the Paralympics

    Reply to this comment
  5. SQ9 September 1, 17:43

    Absolutely…. Does anyone know what we can all do to help make this happen??

    Reply to this comment
  6. STEP Affiliate September 1, 09:28

    A couple of years back I was trounced by a chap missing most of his fingers. Never underestimate an individuals determination to be the best they can as I’m sure Cor Hutton will testify.

    Reply to this comment
  7. TJG August 31, 21:58

    I can’t see any good reason why not and we have such an wealth of talent in the U.K. to choose from! ☺️

    Reply to this comment
  8. SSmith August 31, 16:06

    If it’s in the able bodied Olympics why not the Paralympics?

    Reply to this comment
View comments

Write a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*

Join Our Mailing List


Read the latest issues

Advertise With Us

To advertise in the magazine or online, contact:

Email marketing@thegolfbusiness.co.uk
Tel 020 7803 2453

Twitter Timeline