KUWAIT CITY, April 23: Swing Kuwait, a non-profit golf initiative dedicated towards children with special needs, recently concluded its inaugural season with one final training session, which took place on April 22 at the Sahara Kuwait Golf Resort. The event also included an awards ceremony which honored the season’s outstanding golfers in recognition of their performance throughout the season. As well as showing appreciation to all the coaches and volunteers for their dedication and commitment to the program.
The first of its kind in the country, Swing Kuwait is a non-profit club founded by Hamad Al-Barrak, a 14-year-old Kuwaiti with a passion for golf. The initiative seeks to support children with special needs — especially those with autism and Down’s syndrome — through golfing; helping them become more independent and enabling them to play and socialize in a friendly, safe environment. Swing’s golfing season had kicked off in November of last year, with members meeting every Saturday at Sahara Kuwait Golf Resort.
Al-Barrak, founder and organizer of Swing Kuwait, stated: “My passion and love for golf drove me to start Swing.
I had come to learn through research that children with special needs tend to be much more comfortable and engage better while playing individual sports. Swing gives children the opportunity to interact with others and build social relationships, as well as enabling them to enjoy the soothing, stress-free environment that golfing provides.”
Al-Barrak started by approaching Sahara Golf Resort management, which generously provided the golfing premises. He then sought the support of head coach Edward Retief from Sahara for designing the program and overseeing the weekly training of the young golfers. Additionally, the help of coaches Cameron Van Rooyen and Xu Xon and the many volunteers who were there on a weekly basis to support the children.
Finally, Al-Barrak concluded by saying: “This initiative is completely dependent on the concept of volunteering. Coaches, family members and friends all came together out of good will to make it happen. It is our hope that Swing continues to positively affect the lives of children with special needs and their parents. I also hope that Swing inspires others in the community to start their own projects and initiatives to support special needs children within our society, in any way they could.”