Majed Al Sorour, Amer Al Rumaih & Mark Taylor. Pic: Golf Saudi
February 2: Golf Saudi officially confirmed that it has joined the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) with full member status. As an organisation, EDGA is considered globally to be the foremost experts on golf for persons of disability and will therefore look to work with Golf Saudi to promote golf for all Saudi players with disabilities, regardless of their ability.
Both parties worked to develop a joint programme which promotes golf to Saudi citizens with varying disabilities, with the intention of making the game fully inclusive in the Kingdom.
Speaking during a press conference announcing Golf Saudi’s membership of EDGA, Majed Al Sorour, the CEO and Deputy Chairman of Golf Saudi said: “It is my pleasure to confirm that Golf Saudi has become a member of EDGA, furthering our commitment to make golf accessible to all. As an organisation, EDGA is considered globally to be the foremost expert on golf for people with disabilities and we will therefore look to work with them to promote golf for all in Saudi. I am delighted that we’ve been able to welcome here in KAEC, Mark Taylor, EDGA’s Head of Development, who has over the past week been training our Golf Saudi coaches to deliver tailored training sessions.”
A two-day training programme was initially held in Riyadh with Golf Saudi’s Mass Participation coaches and other volunteers working in the Saudi disability space. With another two days of training held for other PGA qualified coaches, who are already based in the Kingdom.
Commenting on both the progress made by the Golf Saudi coaches under his tutelage and the tournament clinics held during the PIF Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers, Mark Taylor, the Head of Development at the European Disabled Golf Association, said:
“My thanks first of all must go to Golf Saudi for not only undertaking this training and hosting these clinics but for also signing up here today as an official member of EDGA. This bold move demonstrates their courage to follow through on their vision, in terms of making golf an inclusive sport throughout the Kingdom.”
He added: “Thanks must also go to the participants who took the time out to join us, as well as the team at the Asian Tour, without whom this clinic would not be possible.”
As one of the three pillars of the National Sustainability Strategy, the Social Agenda is focused on the creation of education, employment and leisure opportunities for all Saudis from all age groups. Golf Saudi’s membership of EDGA will therefore sit at the heart of this, by creating an access programme for disabled people to attend their nearest golf courses, regardless of where they’re from within the Kingdom.
Amer Al Rumaih, a Saudi war veteran has been in attendance at this week’s tournament as well as the EDGA clinics. By signing-up to the Social Agenda in early 2021, Al Rumaih was the first beneficiary of the Golf Saudi access programme. In the past twelve months, Al Rumaih has been provided with complimentary lessons and equipment to aid his development within the game and as a result has inspired others to follow his lead.
Steven Troup, Director of Instruction and Education at Golf Saudi, said: “At Golf Saudi we are firm believers in diversity and inclusion being the basis for not only our organisation’s success but the country’s too. Therefore, we are proud to have not only developed a comprehensive Social Agenda for Saudi citizens but to have also worked so closely with EDGA to develop an access programme that offers the same golfing opportunities for disabled citizens too.”
Over the next 12 to 18 months, Golf Saudi will continue to work closely with EDGA, as well as golf clubs across the Kingdom to ensure that the new access programme is available to all. With expertise from EDGA, assistance from Saudi golf clubs and dedicated resource from Golf Saudi this new programme will provide opportunities for everyone that wants to try the sport of golf.