HELPING DISABLED ENJOY GOLF, TENNIS
BEACH, Miss. -
It's tee time right off the cart. With the help of a new specially
adapted golf cart, people with disabilities will now be able to
hit a golf ball without ever leaving their seat.
Through a recent
grant from the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services,
The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast now offers the
only special-needs service of its kind in the southeastern region
of the United States.
great that Southern Miss Gulf Coast has taken the lead and offers
the equipment available to the disabled in order to make their lives
better," said Rodger Clark, director of government relations
with the Bayou Gulf States chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of
in turn, shows the disabled that with the proper adaptive equipment
made available at no cost, the barriers that once existed are not
around any longer," added Clark, a paraplegic. "Now the
disabled can go anywhere and do anything the able-bodied members
of the community can do."
the grant, anyone with a disability is now able to enjoy the game
of golf. Southern Miss' Toy Library and Technology Learning Center
on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach houses a set of specially
adapted golf clubs and a special golf cart - the "Model Tee"
- at the Tramark Golf Course in Gulfport. The entire golfing experience
is free for all people with disabilities.
and safe, the "Model Tee" is able to go on the putting
green without damaging the turf. The unique footrest moves with
the seat and enables a person to rotate 360 degrees without physically
moving his or her legs, allowing players to conserve their energy
enough to play 18 holes of golf. If the footrest is unnecessary,
the golfer simply lifts it and slides it out.
golf bag on the "Model Tee" is simple. Velcro fasteners
on straps secure the bag, which can be placed on either side of
the "Model Tee" for right or left-handed golfers.
The set of
adapted golf clubs includes one 12-degree adaptive driver with graphite
shaft (14 degrees reduced lie angle); two adaptive putters - one
adult, one junior (the putters are adjustable to any playing angle
and can be used left handed); eight irons - six adult and two junior
(two to three with steel shafts for safety considerations); and
three fairway woods - two adult, one junior (graphite shafts).
the average golf club, the specially designed clubs are built to
support someone who is sitting down while hitting a golf ball.
is really an incentive for people to get out and enjoy life again,"
said Jimmy Parker, director and voluntary liaisons officer for the
Bayou Gulf States chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America.
Unlimited" grant also funds tennis wheel chairs as well as
golfing equipment. Four tennis chairs bought with the grant are
housed at the TLC. The $35,434 grant has allowed TLC to purchase
the "Model Tee" golf cart from USGCA Golf Products, a
"T-Up" Club (teeing device) from USGC Golf Products, the
adapted set of golf clubs from Victor Kibalchich and four tennis
chairs from Eagle Sportschairs. It also provides funds for publicity,
travel expenses, other miscellaneous equipment and maintenance of
Miss we support our faculty in endeavors to apply their expertise
to community needs, and this recreation project for people with
disabilities is a great example of that commitment," said Dr.
Tim Hudson, Gulf Coast provost. "An excellent university is
a catalyst for positive change. For too long the need of people
with disabilities to play like the rest of us has been ignored,
but TLC's recreation programs makes sure that doesn't happen."
TLC is an established,
university-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing
education, interdependence and quality of life for people with disabilities.
TLC serves individuals with disabilities, their families and teachers
through specialized training and loaning assistive technology. TLC
trains future special education teachers about assistive technology
through collaboration with the Southern Miss Gulf Coast's Division
of Education and Psychology.
For more information
about the Southern MissGC Toy Library and Technology Learning Center
and the "Recreation Unlimited" program, call (228) 867-2636.
Contact the Tramark Golf Course at (228) 863-7808.
PHOTOGRAPHER TO LEAD WORKSHOP, PRESENTATION MARCH 10
-- Award-winning wildlife photographer Tom Ulrich will lead
two photographic events at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory on
Wednesday, March 10.
He will present
a nature photography workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and then
a talk and slide show called "Wildlife Images 2003" at
7 p.m., both at The University of Southern Mississippi GCRL.
the evening event is free and will be held in the Caylor Auditorium
at GCRL. The veteran photographer will feature photos from his 2003
photographic safaris abroad and in North America. He will answer
questions and sign his books during the reception following his
fee for the all-day workshop is $50 per person, payable to GCRL.
Registration includes a continental breakfast, light lunch and snacks.
Participation is limited to 20. Though the workshop is geared toward
beginners, Ulrich tailors the experience to meet needs for all degrees
will definitely benefit from the workshop, but I always help the
more advanced get something out of it also," Ulrich said. "I
lead many photo trips and always find a wide range of levels."
participants do not need to bring their photographic equipment unless
they need an explanation about some aspect of their equipment.
a brief review of the principles of photography, relationships between
shutter and aperture settings, fundamental elements of composition,
use and timing of fill-in flash, digital versus film photography,
techniques of close-up photography, and a brief discussion of slide
etiquette, the photography business and marketing.
up in South Chicago, graduated with a degree in biology from Southern
Illinois University and taught for four years before launching his
career as a freelance photographer. He has supported himself with
nature photography for the past 29 years.
of more than 300,000 transparencies includes birds and mammals from
all over the world. His photographs have been featured in publications
such as National Wildlife, Audubon, National Geographic, Montana
Outdoors and Life.
He has published
six nature books, including Mammals of the Rockies, Birds of the
Northern Rockies, Once Upon a Frame and his 2002 release, Photo
Pantanal. Dr. William E. Hawkins, GCRL executive director, said
Ulrich brings the scientific and artistic worlds together.
his living photographing wildlife all over the world," Hawkins
sad. "He is an outstanding observer and a biologist. His approach
to photography is to capture his subjects exhibiting their natural
The GCRL is
home to the university's Department of Coastal Sciences, the Center
for Fisheries Research and Development, and the Gulf Coast Geospatial
Center. The J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium is also
a unit of the laboratory. The GCRL is part of the Southern Miss
College of Science and Technology. For more information, call the
laboratory at (228) 872-4200.