Barwon Heads Golf Club on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula recently hosted PGA of Australia Professionals for PGA Blind and Disabled Coach Accreditation training, facilitated by fellow PGA Professional and Golf Australia National Inclusion Manager, Christian Hamilton.

The two-day accreditation program, proudly supported by ISPS HANDA, not only addressed the skills and attributes an inclusive coach requires, but how to effectively build programs and sessions where participants feel included, comfortable but also challenged.  Other areas covered during the training included universal design, the seven pillars of inclusion and the STEP coaching method.

Hamilton spoke about the importance of programs being flexible in design to allow everyone to participate.

“Our PGA members in attendance had the opportunity to plan out and run a session for 25 golfers with various physical and intellectual disabilities,” Hamilton said.

“They all did a fantastic job, making activities flexible enough to challenge participants at their own level also recognising everyone as individuals.

“Just as important is the role the club or facility plays in supporting new golfers to the game. We also discussed what an inclusive facility looks like and the importance of a whole club approach toward inclusion.”

In this year’s clinic, participants had the added benefit of gaining access to the Oates Vic Open next door at 13th Beach Golf Links to end what was a great introduction to the game of golf for everyone.

Geoff Stewart, the General Manager of Education at the PGA of Australia was in attendance during the workshop.

“It is great to see our PGA Professionals undertaking this type of training. It will build on their already world class coaching skills and assist them in engaging further with the community,” Stewart said.

“This training will pave the way to introduce people to golf that may not otherwise have that opportunity and the PGA of Australia is appreciative of the support of ISPS HANDA in this area.”

The PGA of Australia and Golf Australia see Blind and Disabled Coach Accreditation for PGA Members as an essential strategy for improving engagement in the sport of golf, growing the game and developing opportunities for people who may not otherwise have the chance to participate in golf activities.

A full list of PGA Blind and Disabled Accredited Coaches and their venues is displayed on the Golf Australia website.

For more information on ISPS HANDA, please visit www.ispsgolf.com.