Bicton: Point Walter Golf on course for inclusion


Special Olympics athlete Kelly Zimbuis and Point Walter Golf Course centre manager Clarke Osborne. Picture: Will Russell       d459075
Special Olympics athlete Kelly Zimbuis and Point Walter Golf Course centre manager Clarke Osborne. Picture: Will Russell       d459075

PEOPLE living with an intellectual disability will soon be able to enjoy a game of golf in Bicton as the Point Walter Course prepares to launch a new inclusion-focused initiative.

Creating Pathways to Golf will offer four programs suited to every level and range of disability.

Across each, instruction will be provided by experienced teachers, volunteers and former golf professionals, with specially modified and designed equipment available if needed.

Funded by a grant from the WA Golf Foundation, the program is a collaboration between a range of partners including Special Olympics WA, Starting New at Golf and Belgravia Leisure, which manages the Point Walter Golf Course.

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It officially launches on Monday, October 10 and will initially be open to participants aged 5-16 years.

Point Walter Golf Course centre manager Clarke Osborne said Creating Pathways to Golf aimed to open the sport up to as many people as possible.

“It’s not about the outcome, it’s about participation,” he said.

“In the years I have been teaching golf and other sports to people living with disabilities, I have seen first-hand the positive impact it has on not only the individual, but the volunteers too; it’s extremely rewarding.

“We’ve got oversized clubs, tennis balls and larger targets and we really just want to get participants swinging and hitting something. Across the board, participation in golf is dwindling and this is another avenue to encourage more people to get involved in the sport.”

Belgravia Leisure national disability and diversity manager Jeff Walkley said research suggested people with intellectual disabilities engaged less often in sport and had higher occurrences of conditions such as hypertension and obesity.

“We are taking a multifaceted approach with the Creating Pathways to Golf program by working alongside schools, organisations and communities to help them feel supported and connected to golf as a sport,” he said.

To volunteer sign up, or for more information, visit www.belgravialeisure.com.|au.