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Golf and Fitness Classes

Ernie Els #GameOn Autism™ Golf Program

The innovative golf program started in 2013, in collaboration with The First Tee ® and PGA REACH.  The program is especially tailored for individuals on the spectrum. Infused with evidence-based practices for teaching golf to people with ASD, GameOn Autism Golf is designed to build self-esteem and confidence in a fun, welcoming and supportive environment; encouraging participants to learn golf skills while practicing specific autism learning concepts including communication, emotional regulation, motor and social skills.  The golf facility at The Els Center of Excellence opened in March 2016 and is the hub for this exciting program.  One-hour introductory clinics are offered under the guidance of Els for Autism staff members throughout the U.S., Canada and South Africa. In 2016, an extended curriculum for Ernie Els #GameOn Autism Golf was piloted across 14 cities in the U.S., Ireland and the U.K. So far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from parents, educators, and golf instructors. The program will be rolled out to the public in the Spring of 2017.  In 2016, this program was in part made possible thanks to a generous grant of $12,000 from the Florida Junior Golf Grant Council.

#GameOn Autism Golf will be available for instructors, schools, and other autism organizations to integrate into their own curriculum! Sign up to receive the first announcement when released! Free resources will also be available so anyone can have access to #GameON Autism Golf to download soon.

Ernie Els #GameOn Autism™ Fitness

Ernie Els #GameOn Autism Fitness is an innovative, family-supportive, research-based fitness and wellness program for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It incorporates the use of traditional fitness equipment, as well as music, dance, and video games as a means of motivating student participation in fitness activities including cardiovascular, strength training, flexibility, and common recess games. Individuals with ASD often lack opportunities for physical activity due to high levels of intensive therapy involving stagnant activities throughout each day. In addition, many individuals with ASD have high incident deficits in motor planning and coordination leading to an aversion to organized sports activities. Although these individuals may shy away from physical activity and organized sports, it is imperative to create programs that use evidence-based practices to get them active, moving and practicing social skills. Individual and group classes are available. We’re thankful for the $6,500 grant received from the Autism Services Grants Council to assist in funding this program as part of the Adult Services SALSA cooking class.

Contact: Megan Edgley, Recreation Services Coordinator
Phone: 561-625-8269