European Disabled Golf Association has been announced as the Official Charity of the 2016 Portugal Masters

Filipe Ferreira (pic by European Disabled Golf Association) (European Tour)
European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA), an international non-profit organisation formed in 2000 for golfers with disabilities, has been announced as the Official Charity of the 2016 Portugal Masters.

EDGA is uniquely positioned to support the expansion of initiatives which promote the development, support and delivery of golf for individuals with impairment across Europe.

Today the association is made up of the national governing bodies from 18 countries. Although EDGA is primarily focused on the European dimension, organisations from around the world regularly reference the EDGA for direction, advice and more specifically the definitions of impairment, eligibility and tournament criteria.

Funds raised from the Portugal Masters will support a pilot project due to start in December, during the III EDGA Algarve Open, with selected coaches set to learn new skills on how to train children with a disability, after which they will work around the country and visit rehabilitation centres and disability associations to introduce golf to children with disabilities.

Golf facilities close to these centres are opening their doors to accept those youngsters who show a real interest in taking the next steps in golf with EDGA aiming to have at least three projects in Portugal.

Peter Adams, Championship Director of the Portugal Masters, said: “The European Disabled Golf Association is a wonderful fit as our Official Charity of the Portugal Masters. Not only do they help individuals with impairment start, stay, succeed and enjoy golf, they also advise and guide other organisations on tournaments, training and services to golfers with disability, furthermore building the capacity of our people within the golfing community.

“The work they do across the country, within Europe and on a global scale, makes a difference to people’s lives, and I would ask anyone attending the Portugal Masters to contribute to this very worthy cause so we can assist in their development programs.

“Last year, thanks to the generosity of players, spectators and the Tour Players Foundation, a total of €22,400 was raised at the Portugal Masters for the SIC Esperan├ža charity, and in previous years we have also been able to support Make-A-Wish and ACCA Kids, all wonderful causes which are great testament to the people of Portugal.”

Tony Bennett, Director of Education and Membership of the PGAs of Europe and President of the European Disabled Golf Association, said: “More than 40 years ago I was introduced to golf and it became, and still is one of my great passions. The game, its challenge and people that I have met through golf are all part of the reason that it is my number one pastime.

“In this project, the Portuguese Tourism Board, the European Tour and other organisations in Portugal are helping the European Disabled Golf Association introduce golf to more individuals with disability, so providing the opportunity to try golf as a possible sporting option. Our thanks go to all those involved in supporting this initiative.”

The fundraising will start on the Wednesday of the tournament week, when each professional will donate their Pro-Am appearance fee to the Official Charity EDGA, with €4,000 expected to be raised through this initiative.

Another exciting element to the week will be the US$1 million hole-in-one competition in association with Your Golf Travel, taking place during the Pro-Am at the eighth hole with entrants asked to donate €20 to enter with all proceeds going to EDGA. If a hole-in-one is made, the player will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas to compete in the final to win the US$1 million prize money.

Throughout the week, spectators will be asked to make a donation to the EDGA project of €1 respectively in return for the daily draw sheet, on sale at the entrance and welcome tent in the village from the 19-23 October.

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