(Westmont, Ill., May 3, 2021) The United States Adaptive Golf Alliance (USAGA), the leading organization that advances golf opportunities for individuals with disabilities, announces the formation of the Women’s Para-Golf Committee (WPGC), a committee consisting of 14 female leaders in golf and/or the adaptive community, with the mission of growing opportunities for the inclusion of women with disabilities in the fabric of society through the game of golf.
According to the Center on Disease Control (CDC), sixty-one (61) million or 26% of adults in the United States (1 in 4) have some form of disability and 36 million of that total are women in the U.S. who have disabilities (1 in 4) “and the number is growing.”
The WPGC is presently comprised of 14 women, 12 of whom have a disability. Several members of the Committee are excellent golfers who have worked hard to achieve recognition and/or world ranking among the adaptive and para-golf community.
The committee meets routinely to develop goals, refine strategies, and implement plans to advance their mission of improving inclusion in golf by creating awareness among women who have a disability, increasing opportunities for play and competition, and advocating for employment.
The 14 committee members are:
Judith Brush, 2019 Net Ladies Champion, U.S. Disabled Golf Association;
Sandy Cross, CDP, CHRO, Chief People Officer, PGA of America;
Melissa DeChellis, Founder and President, Adaptively Abled Amputees; Community Resource Director, The Liner Wand; Co-host, The Adaptive Collaborative Podcast; Clinical Research Coordinator, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital;
Dana Dempsey, M.S., CTRS; Dir., Therapeutic Recreation Department, Scottish Rite for Children and Chairperson of the WPGC;
Ellen Doub, Dir. of Sales and Marketing, Spiri Trusts Lutheran, The Village at Luther Ridge; Life Member, Eastern Amputee Golf Association;
Ann Grube, Community Volunteer, Hinsdale, Illinois.
Sarah Larson, Member, Wisconsin Amputee Golf Association and North American One-Armed Golfer Association; Member of 2020 Team USA, Phoenix Cup;
Ann Liguori, Host, ‘Talking Golf,’ WFAN-NY; ‘Sports Innerview,’ WLIW-FM; ‘Golf Innerview’ podcast; MORNING READ; Author; Pres., Ann Liguori Productions, Inc; Ann Liguori Foundation; Media Consultant, USAGA; Brand Ambassador, Ibkul.com;
Kim Mecca, Vice President, Eastern Amputee Golf Association, Former Athletic Director of Lackawanna College;
Mandi Sedlak, CMF, COF, Board Certified Mastectomy Fitter and Orthotic & Prosthetics, Healthcare Services, Inc.
Deborah Smith, Consultant, Prosthetic and Orthotic Resource, Adaptive Golf Coach, Freedom Golf Association;
Stephanie Tow, MD, FAAPMR, CAQSM, Asst. Professor and Medical Dir., Adaptive Sports Medicine Program, Dep’t of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, UT Southwestern Medical Center; Division of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, Children’s Health; Pediatric Sports Medicine; Scottish Rite for Children Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center; Head Team Physician and National Medical Classifier, US Paralympics Swimming;
Nancy Towers, Certified Amputee Coalition Peer Mentor; 2019 Midwest Amputee Golf Association Champion, Women’s Division;
Mallory Weggmann, 2012 London Paralympic Games; Golf Medalist, Swimming, Women’s 50M, Freestyle, S8. Bronze Medalist 4 X 100 Meter Medley Relay, Int’l Speaker.
Kim Mecca, a member of the WPGC, describes the committee as “a group of women golfers with disabilities who are reaching out to all women with any disabilities, novice to advanced golfers, to participate in a game that you can play at a competitive level or just with friends."
“Sadly, women and girls with disabilities are underrepresented in the game of golf and I’m excited to collaborate with such an amazing group of women to eliminate this disparity," adds Dana Dempsey, Chair of WPGC.
The committee’s key initiatives include being a centralized communication for women who are members of the USAGA and the adaptive and para golf community; building and strengthening golf networks among women with disabilities; partnering with health care communities to educate girls and women on how golf can be used as a rehabilitative intervention; supporting education efforts to expand instructors’ knowledge of teaching golf to women who have a disability; drive the importance of intentionally marketing golf to women who have a disability and maximize the influence of the WPGC through synergistic relationships with leaders across industries.
“Opening the doors for the inclusion of women with disabilities is a major and important step for the game of golf. USAGA is just catching up in this important endeavor,” concludes EQ Sylvester, Founder & Chairman of the United States Adaptive Golf Alliance.
For more information on USAGA, visit: www.usaga.org
Follow the USAGA on Twitter: @USAGA3
Follow on Instagram: usadaptivegolfalliance
Like the USAGA on Facebook: www.facebook.com/USAGAGolf
About United States Adaptive Golf Alliance:
Founded in 2014, the USAGA is a national alliance of 38 adaptive golf organizations with common goals and objectives, promoting and providing resources for athletes with disabilities nationwide. In 2019, its member organizations provided adaptive golf to 40,000+ individuals across the country, of which 26% were wounded veterans. The USAGA is the only organization in the country that provides competitive pathways for golfers with disabilities, from basic instruction, get out and play programs, including regional, national and international competitions for golfers with disabilities.
Edmund Q. Sylvester