Inspirational golfer Caroline Larsson from Sweden is at the Ladies European Tour’s showcase tournament, the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters at Golf Club Hubbelrath in Düsseldorf this week, promoting the mission to have golf included at the Paralympic Games.
Larsson, an amputee golfer who has played in several tournaments on the LET Access Series and Nordea Tour since losing her leg through chondrosarcoma (a cancer of the cartilage) in May 2011, played in the Pro-Am on Wednesday and will be giving motivational speeches throughout the tournament.
“I am working together with Allianz for ‘Golf to Paralympics’ to raise awareness about disabled golf and show that it is competitive,” said Larsson, an ambassador for Allianz along with Beatriz Recari, Sophia Popov, Paul McGinley and Moritz Lampert.
“I stopped playing professional golf last year to give all my energy to motivational speeches and co-operations like this with Allianz, which is very important to me.”
Her work ties in perfectly with title sponsor ISPS HANDA’s mission for blind and disabled golf to be included in the Paralympics, largely developed through the efforts of Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Chairman of ISPS.
However, while the world’s top able-bodied golfers will have a second opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020, golf is not included in the Paralympic Games this week in Rio and was not accepted into the program for Tokyo.
Larsson continued: “The chances of getting golf into the Paralympics should be really good because golf is such an accepting sport for people with disabilities. You can basically play with whatever you have. I just hope that the rest of the world can cooperate together to figure it out.”
Larsson’s is an inspiring voice and her determination to move ahead against the odds is proven by her performances in events such as the 2013 Sölvesborg Ladies Open on the LET Access Series and SA Nedbank Disabled Open.
Allianz’s activities and collaborations in golf show a special commitment to expanding golf’s accessibility, crossing age and gender lines to broaden the appeal of the sport. Their partnerships with St Andrews Links, the St. Leon-Rot Golf Club, the 2015 Solheim Cup, and programs that train promising young golfers extend golf’s reach throughout society and into the future. Allianz has been a partner of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) since 2006, and became its first International Partner in 2011.