SINGAPORE - Japanese businessman Haruhisa Handa is so keen for golf to be included in the Paralympics that he is bankrolling 28 professional and amateur tournaments around the world to get his message across.
Through his International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS) set up six years ago in Tokyo, Handa sponsors events on the European, Ladies European, Senior European, Asian, Japan and Australian Tours - expensive advertising for his simple message.
“This is my life work, maybe that is why I am involved in so many tournaments,” Handa told Reuters in an interview.
“Always help to promote disabled golfers and blind golfers. I am a father, getting old, but, thanks to golf, getting young.”
While the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to include golf in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, the International Paralympic Committee overlooked the sport and decided to include triathlon and canoeing for Brazil.
Dr Handa hopes his powers of persuasion can get golf into the 2020 Games but admits it will not be easy.
“There is some prejudice we are challenging,” he explained.
“When it comes to Paralympics, I think sports look and think (golf) is too luxurious but you can play golf with a minimum budget. In Australia and America they play well and cheaply. There are many golf courses and people help them to play.”