It was smiles all round at Calderwood Golf Course on Sunday when Special Olympics New South Wales held a ‘come and try’ day under the tutelage of local professional Richard Jumrukovski.
Over a dozen participants lined up to learn a trick or two about chipping, putting, and how to hold a club properly, while a group of the more skilled went out to play a friendly round together.
The day was a first for the region, and Jumrukovski said he is hopeful there will be enough students to take part in an Illawarra-based Special Olympics Golf Program.
“This is a first for the region and a first for these guys,’ said Jumrukovski, who has been involved in coaching golfers with special needs for almost two years.
“You just have to see the smiles on their faces to know how much of a buzz they get out of it,” Jumrukovski said while taking a group through some of the finer points on putting.
Some of Jumrukovski’s Illawarra-based special needs students who have already taken part in the ten-week program have gone on to join a golf club and get an official handicap.
“I’ve seen about 15 students from Sydney-based programs go on to get a handicap,”
Importantly, Jumrukovski stressed, the day was all about enjoyment for the participants.
“Golf helps them build life skills, and they get a bit of fitness out of it too.
“To see the joy on their faces is awesome; they keep coming back.”
Golf – The billion dollar engine:
Golf has a $1.2 billion impact on the economy of New South Wales annually.
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