February 17, 2012 Leave a comment
Playing golf is one of the special things in life that everyone can do. Short, tall, fit, fat, young, old, you can see all these different types on the golf course in a weekend. It is the place where bragging rights are made, relationships are begun, and business is done. The 19th hole can be a place where stories are shared and people learn how to become better at the sport. The bottom line is that it can be a place that brings the community together.
For people with disabilities, this can be even more apparent. Many people with disabilities are faced with the unfortunate reality that they are not part of the social activities that the rest of the population is involved in, detailed in the Huffington Post recently. Although this may be a reality, it does not make it right. You see, people with disabilities deserve to be included into society, and because of certain biases and prejudices, they can be excluded. The article detailed the results of a study completed in Britain asking “Does Every Child Matter?” The author of the Huffington Post article, Louise Kinross, reported that the study cited attitudes, not access or transportation, as the main barrier to entry into sports and community activities for those with disabilities.
This is unacceptable. It shows that the battle for basic civil rights is not over for those with disabilities. Moreover, later in the article, Kinross cited another study that said kids with disabilities studied in Canada usually do not have very much interaction with friends in general. It is this isolation that can inhibit the development of social skills and the overall contribution to society that the people with disabilities have the potential to provide.
The great thing about golf is that it can be a tool to get kids and even older people with disabilities into the social fabric of society. Through the Alliance’s GAINTM– Golf: Accessible and Inclusive Networks, individuals with disabilities have the ability to learn golf and play alongside people with and without disabilities. GAINTM brings together the community in a way that helps to ensure that people with disabilities are included into social networks and fulfill their potential contribution to society.