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Padraig Harrington at Wentworth with Special Olympics
May 29, 2012

For the tenth consecutive year, Special Olympics Great Britain Golfers were hosted by the European Tour and the Wentworth Club on the opening day of their flagship event THE BMW PGA CHAMPIONSHIPS .

Special Olympics Global Ambassador for Golf and three-time Major winner, Padraig Harrington was on hand to treat a lucky group of five Special Olympics GB Golfers to an exclusive putting clinic today. Special Olympics GB offers every day, grassroots sports training and competition programmes in 26 sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities (also known as learning disabilities or someone with an IQ of 75 or lower).

Golfers Mikael Undrom , 25, Cobham, Surrey; George Hutchings , 20, Burmington, Shipston on Stour, West Midlands; Beth Wragg , 35, Stourbridge, West Midlands; Marco Pasquale Fusco , 42, Perton, Wolverhampton, West Midlands; and Bobbie Wright , 17, Widnes, NW were awed to be there and take tips from a Major winner. They were selected from 160 Special Olympics GB Golfers around the country.

"Meeting Padraig was great, and it's even better that he is an Ambassador for Special Olympics ," smiled Mikael. "This was one of the best days of my life."

The Golfers were treated to a VIP day with Managing Director Julian Small taking them on a private tour of the Clubhouse. Said Small, "This is the tenth year we have hosted Special Olympics.  We get as much out of it as they do !"  The day included a sumptuous lunch at Richard Caring's Grill Restaurant.

As a Global Ambassador, Padraig serves as an advisor to Special Olympics International Sports Resource Team on Golf, offering his extensive expertise to help further the sport of golf around the world. He is on a mission to recruit more Special Olympics' golf coaches and create interest in developing additional Special Olympics opportunities for Golfers with intellectual disabilities.

Comments Padraig, "This has genuinely been a highlight of this year's Championships for me.  Every golfer has a handicap, and every golfer comes out to play their best. In my book, these golfers are par for the course.  They inspire me."

Special Olympics is the only member of the Olympic Family that has embraced the sport of Golf across the world for the past ten years.  Elite Special Olympics Golfers are hoping Golf will become not just an Olympic sport (2016) but also a Paralympic sport in 2020. Special Olympics Great Britain's Golf programme has an on-going relationship with the European Tour, the R&A, and the Golf Foundation (Tri-Golf).  Each year they host the Triple Crown Tournament with England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, and Tri-Golf Festivals. Special Olympics Golfers travel to countries ranging from Denmark to Taiwan to compete with other Special Olympics Golf programmes around the world.

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