On Monday July 21st over 80 golfers participated in the Els for Autism golf tournament at the Glencoe Golf & Country Club in Calgary. Unlike most golf tournaments this truly is a fun tournament where the focus is to raise awareness and funds for local agencies helping families living with Autism – not golf. In Calgary, the Ability Hub hosted the Els for Autism tournament with the beneficiaries being the Autism Aspergers Friendship Society of Calgary programs for young adults.
One of the unique features of the Calgary tournament was the inclusion of youth on the spectrum as part of the days’ events. This included chalk art drawings, organizing a putting competition and even golfing in the tournament. For John Seigner, father of a young adult on the spectrum, an Ability Hub Ambassador and tournament coordinator the highlight of the day was “the joy of seeing so many kids on the spectrum out for the day helping and participating.”
Els for Autism-Canada is a Canadian-based organization committed to helping people diagnosed on the autism spectrum live healthy, productive lives. The organization was created by pro-golfer Ernie Els – a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Ernie and his wife Liezl have been active in organizations providing assistance to people diagnosed on the autism spectrum since 2007 – shortly after their son, Ben, was diagnosed. They have lent their support to organizations in the United States, South Africa and the United Kingdom to provide assistance for schools, therapy programs and to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders.