With Help from United Airlines, Special Olympics Athletes Tee It Up with PGA TOUR Pros

Published on : Saturday, January 5, 2019

Yesterday, United Airlines, the Official Airline of the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions and Web.com Tour, flew nine top Special Olympics golfers to THE NORTHERN TRUST for an inside-the-ropes, VIP experience with three PGA TOUR players: Rafa Cabrera Bello, James Hahn, and J.J. Spaun. Through this unified day of play, United aligned its recently expanded relationship with Special Olympics and partnership with the PGA TOUR as a part of its continued efforts to break down barriers and promote inclusion.



“As United looked at opportunities with THE NORTHERN TRUST tournament and our partnership with PGA TOUR, we saw a unique opportunity and we are so proud to bring together Special Olympics and PGA TOUR golfers for this incredible experience together,” said Suzi Cabo, United’s Managing Director of Corporate and Community Affairs. “Today was about joining people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team to promote social inclusion on and off the field of play.”



“So excited I felt so other worldly to be able to play with the pro, the accommodations from United Airlines, just everything is more than words,” said Kyle Aragon, Special Olympics Southern California. “My favorite part was getting out to play golf, it’s meeting new people, getting to express real feelings and have them bounce that back. It’s a very pleasurable experience.”



The Special Olympics golfers received a true PGA TOUR player experience. After VIP transportation to The Ridgewood Country Club, the athletes were escorted to their personal lockers in the locker room and then participated in a skills clinic led by New Jersey PGA professionals. Each athlete was then officially announced on the first tee. Following three holes of play, the athletes and their guests attended a reception in the United Airlines Fairway Club.



“United and Special Olympics’ shared vision of unity and inclusion illustrates what the game of golf is all about, and on behalf of THE NORTHERN TRUST and the PGA TOUR, we were truly honored to play a role in what was a memorable experience for everyone involved,” said Julie Tyson, Senior Vice President of Championship Management, PGA TOUR and Executive Director of THE NORTHERN TRUST. “There is no more fitting a venue to celebrate these accomplished athletes than at a PGA TOUR event, playing right alongside the top 125 players in the world.”



“You can just tell how hard they work at what they do, and how passionate they are about the game, and the sport,” said J.J. Spaun, PGA TOUR professional. “[Golf is] a great sport where you can have things like this. You can bring people together from everywhere and just have a blast and that is what we did today and I’m sure they had a fun time.”



This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics, the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities, with over 5 million athletes in 172 countries. Through connecting golfers from two of United’s relationships, this event epitomizes the mission of Special Olympics in that it joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team to promote social inclusion. Earlier this year, United Airlines announced the expansion of their relationship with Special Olympics globally, celebrating in their shared vision to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities.


Source:- United Airlines


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