From the Executive Director: More Than a Competition

Special Olympics - July 2018As I write this month’s blog, I am in Seattle for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games and the golf competition.  We wrapped up the final round yesterday on the Fourth of July with some outstanding play by the Special Olympics Athletes in Level 1 (Skills), the individual stroke play Levels 4 and 5, and the Athletes with their Unified Partners in the Unified Levels 2 and 3 of the competition. As Golf Competition Director and Field of Play Manager, it was, as always, a great time reuniting with the Athletes, Partners, Coaches, and family members that I have met over the last 20-plus years of involvement with Special Olympics, along with meeting new participants from the various state delegations represented here at the Games.

My involvement with Special Olympics started back in the late 1980s when a friend and fellow PGA Professional Wayne Warms and I introduced golf as a demonstration sports and clinic at the State Summer Games in New Jersey.  At that time, golf was not part of Special Olympics and it wasn’t until the 1990s that it was part of the national and world games.  Since then, my love and passion for engaging with Special Olympics Athletes has not waned.  Yes, these Special Olympics Athletes love competing for the medals but it goes beyond that.  They just love playing the game of golf.  In fact, some of them actually compete in State Golf Association amateur events around the country. Bottom line, it is all about inclusion in the game and life.  If you would like more information about Special Olympics, visit www.specialolympics.org.

Finally, July is National Alliance for Accessible Golf Awareness month.  Check out our website at www.accessgolf.org for program grants, resources, search engine, toolkits for courses and individuals with disabilities, articles, best practices, etc. To learn more about the impact of the grants on local programs, follow the hashtags #GrantsinAction and #ImpactofInclusion to hear the voices of program participants and coordinators during the month of July.

Together we can all make the game of golf inclusive and accessible.

Steve Jubb, PGA

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About National Alliance for Accessible Golf
The National Alliance for Accessible Golf is a coalition of recreational, therapeutic, and golf organizations committed to the inclusion of people with disabilities through the game of golf.

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