What would you expect to happen if you stuck a cheque of R500 000 in someone’s hand? Definitely a shriek of surprise and delight; certainly some hugs and kisses and probably tears. Neil Inman got all that and much more at the 2016 Nedbank SA Disabled Golf Open on Tuesday.
Inman – a partner in the UK-based Scanlans Consultant Surveyors LLP – presented the South African Disabled Golf Association (SADGA) with a donation of €25,000 on behalf of to promote their First Swing Programme (FSP) in South Africa.
‘I expected Eugene (Vorster) and Lily (Reich) from SADGA to be delighted, but I am overwhelmed with the gratitude and joy from the FSP kids and coaches,’ Inman said
Inman learned out about the FSP from fellow Brit and leg-amputee Martin Williams, a regular competitor in SADGA’s flagship event.
‘I’ve known Martin for probably 15 years,’ Inman said ‘I knew him before his accident and was there throughout his amputation and I was around when Eugene and Lily offered him the chance to compete in the Nedbank SA Disabled Golf Open.
‘Competing again helped Martin to regain his self-esteem and confidence. He told me about the FSP and “Neil, they need money, you need to give me a cheque.” So I wrote the cheque, but I was intrigued. We are eight partners in the company and we all have children. Any one of us could have had a child with a physical disability and I decided to come out to South Africa to personally deliver the donation and see first-hand how the programme works.’
Inman met 10 FSP learners that are participating in this year’s championship and observed a FSP clinic for children from the Alma School on the putting green at Zwartkop Country Club.
‘It was wonderful to watch the FSP kids strutting their stuff out on the golf course and then watch the coaches go to work in the clinic,’ Inman said. ‘I really enjoyed seeing how children that normally shy away from people, was interacting with the coaches and each other. It’s a privilege to be in a position to support the FSP and to help children thrive in this environment.’
Like most sports development initiatives in South Africa, SADGA relies on donations to support the expansion of its development programme countrywide.
‘This very generous cheque is very welcome,’ said SADGA CEO Vorster. ‘It will not only help us to sustain the programme, but we will also apply some of the funding to our annual NOMADs FSP Coaches workshop to accommodate the growing need for coaches in the programme.
‘We are incredibly pleased that Scanlans has further committed to be the lead sponsor for the London SADGA Golf Day in 2016 and 2017. This annual golf day is crucial to our fundraising efforts to grow the programme.
‘We currently have 900 children in 36 schools and three homes across South Africa and we have a long list of schools who are waiting for us to bring the FSP to them. Funding like this also allows us to create opportunities for our most talented players to gain valuable competitive experience, like the 10 players competing in the 18th edition of the Nedbank SA Disabled Golf Open this year.
‘We are very grateful for their support and really pleased to welcome Scanlans to the SADGA family.’
By Lali Stander