A new initiative aiming to help children with autism has been set up by the Italian Golf Federation as part of the Ryder Cup 2022 project.
With the co-operation of the charity Una Breccia Nel Muro, and the support of Rome’s Archi di Claudio Golf Club, “Golf4autism” will aim to offer autistic children aged between six and 12 the opportunity to learn the game of golf.
The scheme, which was trialled for nine months last year, gives these children the opportunity to undertake free golf lessons.
Lessons will take place on Sundays throughout 2018 at Archi di Claudio Golf Club, and on rainy days, children can learn the game in the play room of Una Breccia Nel Muro centres across the country.
Each session will feature both teachers and therapists looking after the children and will last for around two hours.
Gian Paolo Montali, General Director of the Ryder Cup 2022 project, said: “I want to thank everybody who has contributed to the 'Golf4autism' project.
“The Italian Golf Federation, supporting this initiative, wants to show that the inclusion of people with disabilities is one of the most important values of the Ryder Cup 2022 project.
“Following this example our idea is to involve all golf clubs in Italy, bringing many children to the course, not only in Lazio and Rome, where the 2022 Ryder Cup will be played.
“‘Golf4autism’ is inserted in our strategic project and is intended to increase social inclusion – together with our other initiatives ‘golf in schools’, ‘golf wears pink’ and the events on the Road to Rome 2022.
“Through ‘Golf4autism’ the Italian Golf Federation continues to help people with disabilities, as shown by lots of initiatives carried out by our Paralympic sector: from ‘GolfSuperAbili’, inside Golf Club Milano during the last Italian Open, and also the World Cup for blind people, which this year will be played in Rome at Parco De’ Medici Golf Club. Our journey towards The Ryder Cup continues.”
Professor Alberto Zuliani, president of Una Breccia Nel Muro, said: “Our association, born in 2011, has taken care of 400 autistic children between 18 months and 12 years old in our two centres in Rome and Salerno.
“The child is central to our therapy, but we also take care of families by supporting parents, brothers and sisters.
“Through ‘Golf4autism’ we offer an organised training path, helped by specialists, teachers and supervisors.”
In 2022 Italy will host The Ryder Cup for the first time, with Rome’s Marco Simone Golf and Country Club playing host to golf’s greatest team event.