Natascha Tennent Plays in Macau Golf Masters this Easter

Brisbane Adventist College student Natascha Tennent is one of only 11 people selected to represent the Asia Pacific region at the world’s largest golf tournaments for people with intellectual disabilities. 

The inspirational 11-year-old, who has autism, is heading for the Macau Golf Masters this Easter. 

Natascha, who belongs to the Redlands Special Olympics which qualified her for the Macau Golf Masters, regularly competes against juniors up to 18 years of age who do not face the same challenges that she lives with.

Turning 12 tomorrow, just two days before she leaves for Macau on April 21, Natascha admits she’s a bit nervous to compete as she hasn’t travelled further abroad than New Zealand before. 

“I’m really excited about going to Macau to compete,” Natascha said. 

“But I don’t know what to expect at all.”

Natascha’s coaches Ryan Mouque and Bronwyn Russel and her mother Kathleen Tennent expect her to take the three day tournament in her stride. 

“Golf seems to give Tash the freedom to be herself,” Mr Mouque, who has been coaching Natascha at Wynnum Golf Club for just over a year now, said. 

“It takes a very unique junior — or even adult — to pick up and play golf. Apart from patience and co-ordination, you need lots of resilience.”

“Tash always has a positive outlook,” Mrs Tennent added. 

“She doesn’t get frustrated or let it upset her if she’s having a bad game. If she’s out there playing, it’s a good game anyway.”

Natascha will play an Ambrose competition in Macau, a best ball format with a teammate. She was recently told that she may also play in the single stroke 18-hole competition; however, this will not be announced until after she arrives in Macau.

Natascha was recently assigned an 18-Hole Handicap by Golfing Queensland and her aim for the year is to reduce this from the high 20s to low 20s or better. 

Natascha picked up the golf clubs for the first time only four years ago. Her parents thought it was important for her to play a sport.

Golf has helped Natascha control a tic that she had developed. 

However, according to Natascha, it was as simple as: “Mum wanted me to play tennis, Dad wanted me to play golf so I did an eenie meenie miney mo and Dad won!” 

“I pretty much liked it straight away, being out in the open, in nature,” Natascha said. 

“I will admit there is a lot of walking, though — unless you use a cart and then it pretty much halves!”

“I’ve had people say to me that Tash is an ‘inspiration’, playing with a disability,” Mrs Tennent said. 

“But the Special Olympics has given her an avenue where she can play golf and shine. 

“It has strengthened her passion and she hopes to one day play for Australia in the Special Olympics World Games.” 

All the best with your competition Natascha. We are super proud of you!


Natascha's story appeared in the Southern Star, April 14, 2019.

Southern Star article provided by Debbie Cosier, BAC Communications and writer-editor at freshwriting.com.au