This was the first charitable donation made on behalf of The Ryder Cup European Development Trust and was presented by Bernhard Langer, the immediate past captain of the Ryder Cup Europe team, in September 2005.
DKD – the German Children’s Aid Direct – cares for sick and underprivileged children throughout Germany and supports institutions in the Cologne area of Germany. DKD has developed its own ‘KidSwing’ programme to establish a new form of therapy for physically challenged children. The involvement of these children in golf, with specially trained golf professionals, and the appropriate equipment and facilities, can help to improve their condition and increase their self-esteem.
It is planned to establish KidSwing bases, effectively training centres for physically challenged and sick children, throughout the world. Golf is a useful method of rehabilitation, especially for those who have to use a wheelchair – the exacting sequence of movements required offers a good opportunity to assess their performance limits.
Golf plays a very special role for sick and physically challenged children, as it can often prove to be a less painful form of therapy than traditional physiotherapy, whilst still offering good results. It can be seen to be a therapeutic workout which motivates and excites a player.
The KidSwing approach offers a variety of different aspects, i.e.
- Special education of golf professionals
- Presentation of the KidSwing programme in schools and rehabilitation centres
- Organisation of special tournaments to increase the social standing of affected groups
- Co-operation with companies who are linked with the game of golf, or who provide special equipment for physically challenged children