The One-Handed Lady Golfer Empowers Community
Meet Gianna Rojas of Oak Ridge, New Jersey, known globally as the "One Handed Lady Golfer." Yes, you read that right, Gianna was born with no fingers on her left hand, although you would never know it after 30 seconds of meeting her. But there is much more than meets the eye.
Ten years ago, Gianna was finding it difficult to meet her own needs when seeking information about adaptive golf. There was no one readily available that had taught someone with no fingers to swing much less play the game, so she decided to do something about it. Gianna turned her birth defect into a powerful tool to inspire others to play a game she truly loves.
Adaptive Golf Therapy Gets People with Disabilities on the Green
In 2017, Gianna Founded, ADAPTIVE GOLFERSSM. Adaptive Golfers' mission is to help empower individuals with different (not dis) ABILITIES to take equity in their health and improve the quality of life, mind, body and soul through adaptive golf. They provide adaptive golf resources, programs, clinics, training and equipment to individuals with all different ABILITIES as a form of therapeutic activity. Adaptive Golf Therapy!
There are 57 million individuals with disabilities as of the last US Census in 2010. Of those, a study done by the Indiana and Clemson Universities and the National Council on Accessibility found that 35% of those would like to learn to or get back to golf. So you see, golf is much more than just a game as you may have come to think of it. Golf provides empowerment, independence, camaraderie and in some cases has even saved lives. Adaptive Golfers provides programs that use golf as a therapeutic activity, a leisure game, or a competitive pathway.
"The only limitation is what you tell yourself. We are turning the question 'Can I?' into 'How CAN I?' When you ask yourself 'How?', you have already decided that you are going to do it, you just need guidance with the 'how' part. Golf is just the conduit," says Gianna.
Golf lends itself so well as therapy because of it is physical and cognitive benefits. Golf is an individual activity meaning it is just between you, the ball and the hole, and neither the ball or the hole cares if you roll it with your nose or how many swings it takes to get there. "We are using golf help individuals uncover the best of their own ability and potential and improve the quality of life, shared Gianna. "Golf can help bring a sense of dignity, self-confidence, camaraderie and inclusion."
Adaptive Golfers provides monthly community clinics called Experience Adaptive Golf with the collaborative effort of the PGA TOUR Superstore on Rt. 17 in Paramus, NJ. The last Wednesday each month from 6:30 – 8:30 individuals from the community and surrounding area participate in our clinics. There are also a series of clinics around the New Jersey area.
Adaptive Golfers is also providing Adaptive Golf Coach Training. Our workshops are attended by PGA and LPGA teaching professionals, golf coaches and instructors, rehabilitative and therapeutic specialists and coordinators, support staff, family and friends. This workshop series will help you begin your own programs for your community's juniors, adults and veterans with physical/mobility issues, and anyone with sensory, health, age, and/or cognitive challenges, so they too can learn to play the game.
Come out and see us at the New York Metro Abilities Expo at the New Jersey Convention & Expo Center in Edison, NJ. May 3-5, 2019 from 11 am to 5 pm on Friday and Saturday and from 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday. Admission is FREE
Pre-Register for Abilities Expo Today...It's Free!