The EDGA team has marked down a 72 on its scorecard: 72 written and audio interviews on people who define themselves as ‘Golfers First’. These stories are free to use by all media, and enjoyed by everyone to help make golf more inclusive.
‘EDGA Golfers First Profiles supported by PING’ is a series of recorded and written interviews that aims to raise awareness of remarkable golfers – who refuse to be labelled by their disability and instead are reaching their potential with the help of golf.
This week, the popular interviews on men and women who have met with a trauma, serious injury or have lived with a medical condition, has reached a significant landmark that all in golf will recognise, 72… par for the course.
After three years, there is now a bank of 72 written articles and sound interviews on the EDGA website, found at https://bit.ly/3iq6xRy
Globally respected club manufacturer PING has given its support for this series from the start, enabling the EDGA Golfers First Profiles supported by PING to flourish. This has created a highly positive asset for the team at EDGA, the international body that encourages people with disability to thrive through golf, representing 30 national golf federations.
A key objective of the project has been to encourage people of all ages who have a disability to consider trying golf, while highlighting the power of golf to change lives.
The stories include Aleš starting life in a hospital waste basket, Caroline telling her surgeon, “When you take my leg, you are going to give me life,” and Shlomo taking his girls to the beach, dragging himself to the water’s edge. There is Stewart, battling back after serving in Afghanistan, Lucas loving what golf offers after being shot eight times in the back, and Monique fulfilling her ambition to win gold medals through talent and hard work. Through the sport and its camaraderie, many of these golfers have survived traumatic times and enhanced their lives. “Golf saved/improved my life” has been a regular quote.
The 72nd story, released this week, features England’s Terry Kirby, a keen sportsman and former soldier with the Royal Engineers, who in a matter of days had to deal with the realisation that he would never walk again after doctors found a tumour in his spine. This story is one of hope, reinvention and gratitude for the life he has created. “Plough on,” is the advice Terry offers. Find his story at https://bit.ly/2Kpy0qv
The EDGA team is keen to stress that the written, audio and image content is freely available for use by magazines, newspapers, and websites who wish to share a human interest story, who want to engage with an audience of individuals with a disability, their families and friends, or provide evidence of their social responsibility to be inclusive in nature. Signposting to the EDGA website will be appreciated (www.edgagolf.com).
The interviews can be viewed as a whole list or in groups of ‘Arm’, ‘Leg’, ‘Orthopaedic', ‘Spinal’, ‘Neurological’, ‘Intellectual’ and ‘Other’; which is partly designed so that people visiting the site with similar conditions can find stories that may inspire them to think more positively about what they can achieve themselves.
All of the interviews have been instigated, written and produced by EDGA's President Tony Bennett, with valuable input from his team.
Tony Bennett said: “We are excited that we have reached this golfing figure of 72 this week, and we are now extra keen to use these articles and sound interviews to spread awareness. By doing so, we hope the project can encourage other people who may be at the start of a difficult journey after personal trauma, to help them know they are not alone and how sport and friendship – in this case through golf – can make a tremendous difference.
“We are incredibly grateful to our friends at PING for supporting this project so wholeheartedly from the start. PING is a company that clearly cares about people, and its backing over three years has helped us widen our reach significantly through these personal stories.”
Demonstrating the game’s mental and physical health benefits for all participants at all levels internationally, EDGA aims to encourage 500,000 people to play, succeed and enjoy golf, while working with partners to create sustainable golf projects for people with disability.