Special Olympics Golfers from five European countries celebrated a two-day Christmas Golf Tournament at Montado Golf Centre in Setubal, Portugal from December 9th to the 11th, 2011.
More than 100 athletes, families, coaches and friends from Austria, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Portugal were in attendance. Divisioning of the competition happened early in the morning of Friday, December 9th allowing the athletes the remainder of the day to familiarise themselves and grow accustomed to the Montado golf course. The course, while mainly of flat terrain, unfolds beneath old trees and around creeks and lakes making it quite the challenge for golfers.
Competition matches were started with a gun shot from the Golf Club of Physical Education Teachers at 9.10 am on Saturday, December 10th. Two eventful, enthusiastic and sporting days of golf ensued.
The competition wound down with an evening of celebrations on Sunday, December 11th, which was full of festive cheer. Each athlete was presented with a medal, a polo shirt and a box of three professional golf balls to add to the Christmas gifts they also received.
Pedro Jorge Serra, Sports Director, Special Olympics Portugal was present at the two day event; “It’s fantastic to see five national programs attend this event. Golf is the tenth most popular sport in the Special Olympics movement and with more great events like this one it will surely become even more popular.”
A technical coaches meeting ran simultaneously to the competition on late Saturday afternoon. The meeting was hosted by SOEE Golf Advisor, Jeffrey Swanson and focused on golfing issues including the participation rate in the European Golf Tournament in Bludenz, Austria in June, 2012.
Recognition goes to Regina Mirandela Costa, SO Portugal National Driector, Pedro Jorge Serra, Sports Director and all Special Olympics Portugal staff as well as Jeffrey Swanson, SOEE Golf Advisor for organising the event.