After several years organizing the Handisport International Disabled Open golf tournament, Handisport Foundation has managed to bring the first wheelchair golf world championship to Mallorca . A tournament unique in its characteristics, which since last Thursday and until yesterday has gathered in Son Antem 40 players, from 21 countries on five continents.
“The consolidation of the European tournaments that we have organized in recent years on the island has been key to the celebration of this World Cup. They have chosen us not only for a golf theme, but also for all the possibilities offered by Mallorca as an accessible tourism destination, “explains Rafa Winckelmann , promoter and CEO of the Mallorcan foundation.
Thus, last Thursday the facilities of the Son Antem golf course hosted an emotional opening ceremony of the I International Wheelchair Golf Open Championship , in which in addition to parading the flags of each country, the presentation of all players was carried out participants.
“It was very exciting to watch the flags of the 21 countries march past and hear the official anthem of the tournament. In addition, we have the performance of the Agora Portal Choir, which sang four songs in Hebrew, Japanese, English and Spanish, “says Rafa, pointing out that this was the first time that a tournament manages to bring together so many golfers in Wheelchair.
South Africa, Australia, the United States, Austria, Israel, Brazil or Argentina have been some of the countries that have participated in this first wheelchair golf world championship, in which a Spaniard has also competed: Sebas Lorente .
“Both the players who had already participated in previous tournaments and those who have visited the island for the first time, have been delighted with the organization. In addition to being able to play golf in a totally adapted course, they have had facilities and a complementary offer that are fully adapted and accessible “, they say from Handisport.
Likewise, when all the players and their companions are staying in five hotels within a radius of two kilometers, they have had the opportunity to socialize and exchange views on the sport that has brought them together in Mallorca these days.
«The atmosphere of these days more than of competition, has been of brotherhood. Many of them did not know each other and this tournament has helped them to talk about the golf situation in each of their respective countries ».
After two days of competition, Richard Kluven won the victory in this First International Wheelchair Golf Open Championship. The podium was completed by Mariano Tubio and Nick Taylor . The Spanish Sebas Lorente was in sixth place.
«As Handisport Foundation it has been a challenge to organize this world cup. But also a recognition to the work of these three years promoting the adapted golf and making known and promoting Mallorca as an accessible tourism destination “, concludes Rafa Winckelmann, not without first thanking Cristian Nachtwey , the AETIB, the City Council of Llucmajor and Fundanció Mallorca Turisme has helped make this first world wheelchair golf tournament a reality.
It should be remembered that the Handisport Foundation was born in 2007 and since then works for the social integration of people with physical disabilities through sports. For this it offers a whole series of adapted sports activities such as hiking, sailing, paddle tennis, golf, karting, kayaking, diving …
With eleven years of experience and more than 15,000 services behind it, it has become a benchmark for inclusive sports and tourism. A trajectory that has earned him recognitions as important as the 2010 Accessibility Award of the Consell de Mallorca; the 2012 Integration Prize of the National Confederation of Special Employment Centers; the Gold Medal of the Eserp ; or the Award for the Best Tourism CSR Initiative of the Balearic Government (2016).