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Government backs Disabled British Open
March 22, 2011

The UK Government has thrown its support behind the third annual Disabled British Open golf championship, which will take place in August, at East Sussex National Golf Resort & Spa (ESN).

The event is the largest and most inclusive tournament in the country for disabled golfers and both the Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, Jeremy Hunt MP, and the Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller MP, praised it for its inclusivity and legacy.

Hunt said: "The Disabled British Open golf championship is a fantastic example of how Britain can stage a world-class event for disabled athletes competing at the highest level. As a nation we should be very proud of the awareness this event has created, and the legacy of opportunities within sport for disabled people."

And his parliamentary colleague added: "To hear that the Disabled British Open golf championships has encouraged disabled people to start playing golf for the first time is a wonderful achievement - and testament to the spirit of the competitors and will of the organisers."

The 2010 event - the first to be played at the current venue - attracted a full field of 72 disabled athletes, with ages ranging from 16-71, from as far afield as South Africa , Pakistan , Spain , Ireland and Germany , in addition to a strong UK contingent.

The Sky Sports-broadcast event is delivered through Tourism South East as one of the projects of the Accentuate programme, which is funded by SEEDA and Legacy Trust UK - an independent charity set up to create a cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games - and set up as part of the south-east's drive to create a cultural shift in the way disabled people are perceived by celebrating excellence and showcasing talent.

John Williams, chairman of Tourism South East, said: "The Disabled British Open is one of many excellent projects we have delivered over the past few years. It has a burgeoning reputation and seems likely to go from strength to strength. We wish it continued success."

So popular did the 2010 event prove that the 2011 will also the see the inaugural Junior Disabled British Open for young golfers between the ages of 12 and 18.

Andy Barwell , a director of championship organiser the Azalea Group, explained: "We have elected to return to ESN because it proved such an outstanding venue for last year's event. As a regional qualifier for the Open Championship and a former venue for the European Open, it has a pedigree of hosting high-profile tournaments and its guest facilities are outstanding for players, friends and family, and spectators.

"This year's event will be played over both of ESN's outstanding courses and we are also launching the Junior Disabled British Open following a great response from youngsters to last year's adult event.

"We are delighted to have received such encouraging support from both the Secretary of State and the Minister for Disabled People, and the sport of disabled golf even warranted a mention in the Queen's Christmas Day message... so I suppose you could also say we have a Royal seal of approval," smiled Barwell.

Once again, spectators will be afforded free entry to the event and will be able to benefit from free coaching offered by qualified Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) pros.

There will also be a huge army of volunteers required. Last year, after the call went from the organisers for volunteers to act as marshals, ball-spotters, buggy drivers and caddies, the roles were filled within weeks.

The 2011 Disabled British Open and Junior Disabled British Open take place on August 20-21. A range of bespoke sponsorship and partnership packages for both events can be made available including title and headline sponsorship.

Entries will open in April. For further information contact championship organiser Andy Barwell on 07961 315520 or visit www.disabledbritishopen.org







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