In search of activities to keep Swift Current’s SaskAbilities clients busy amid the COVID pandemic the organizations program directors turned to the sport of golf with great fanfare.
Senior Program Supervisor Kim Furey said with many activities on hold due to the virus golf is an outdoor, safe activity for their clients to enjoy.
“We kind of jumped on the golf bandwagon this year,” Furey told Golf Saskatchewan. “With everything that is going on being outdoors to do programming and have people connect is definitely the safest route to go. We were looking for different options and golf was one that came up and it was fabulous. I started golfing this year, I hadn’t really done it before, I fell in love with it and hoped we could spread that to some other people too.”
At the beginning of the golf programming the organization was treated to a virtual demonstration by the Saskatchewan Landing Golf Course professional to introduce the SaskAbilities clients to the game. The group visited Gull Lake’s Meadowdale Golf Course, the participants spent a few days at the Chinook Golf Course driving range, and they also played mini golf in Swift Current. Furey said the feedback was very positive.
“We have one individual who golfs every week with his dad, so he was out there hitting balls with us and others who have never held a golf club before. That was really good, they were eager to do it again and it was an activity they wanted repeated. Like I said lots of people had never swung a club but once they got that one good hit they feel awesome about it, especially when they are first learning,” she said.
The programming was part of the organization’s “SLYP Out” program. SLYP stands for Social Leisure Youth Program. SaskAbilities youth programs are for people experiencing disabilities from age six to 16. Their adult programming has no age limit. Program Manager Jayda Watson said having a sense of community and getting their clients out is also critical for their well-being.
“I think connecting to community is important as well,” Watson said. “Our mission is to create inclusive communities for people of all abilities and golf fit right into that. We had great feedback from community members we met at the driving range and they would give encouragement to participants who were out there learning for the first time.”
SaskAbilites said they had about 20 people participate in various golf days throughout the season.