Two of Western Australia’s best and brightest golfers are set to shine next week when the Special Olympic National Championships begin in Adelaide on Monday.
Nick Carroll (Dunsborough Lakes) and Marc Barnesby-Biue (Royal Fremantle) will compete in the golf competition, with both a realistic and strong chance of taking out a medal for their state.
The Special Olympics in 2018 is set to be the 11th in competitions history, with the first Games being played way back in 1986.
The event allows people with intellectual disability the opportunity to reach their personal best in sport as well as life, with the main emphasis on fun and enjoyment for all of the athletes.
Tom Hughson, the WA representative for Empower Golf, is travelling to caddy for Carroll and describes the competition as both competitive and exciting.
“It is a great way for people with intellectual disability to compete in sport on a national and global scale,” Hughson said.
“The fun and inclusion side of it is great.”
“The WA golfers are very competitive and strong – it allows the boys to follow a pathway to the World Championships in Special Olympics.”
Carroll has set his sights on securing a medal at the Games having worked with Empower Golf and Hughson in the past few months.
“I am caddying for Nick during the event which is really exciting,” he said.
“I have known Nick for six or seven months now, working on his golf and game.”
“I met him through my Empower Golf clinics and he is playing off a GA of 9.4 at the moment. A single-figure handicap golfer that has been playing for 10 years.”
Hughson believes the Special Olympics provide a perfect platform for ‘inclusion golf’ to grow, with the two golfers becoming role-models for younger children looking to get into the game.
“These boys have done a lot to qualify to go to Adelaide,” he claimed.
“It is a great way to spread the word about inclusion golf and what exactly these guys are doing. How important it actually is.”
The Special Olympics begins on Monday April 16 with the golf competition taking place at Adelaide Shores Golf Course in West Beach.