Thanks to support from The R&A, the Golf Foundation has been able to offer a golf experience to a whole new audience of young people in Birmingham via its HSBC Golf Roots programme. The national golf charity has backed the ‘Bring it on Brum’ summer holiday activities and food programme which staged a unique multi-cultural festival for children and families yesterday (November 26) at Cannon Hill Park.
Some 90 children from different backgrounds enjoyed golf games with their community group leaders and volunteers. Golf has been one of the selected sports on offer in this government funded multi-activity programme providing free lunches to children, backed by Manchester United and England star Marcus Rashford. (see end for video clip)
Working with the Golf Foundation’s partner StreetGames, specialists in offering doorstep activity to young people in city areas, and with support from The R&A, the Foundation joined the Birmingham project to captivate children of all abilities and get them energised through golf, supporting Birmingham City Council.
Training was given to community volunteers to pass on the fun and life skills golf offers, while providing eight new full Golfway Kit Bags with all the equipment needed for a first go at golf.
Sixteen local projects in the city have enjoyed Golfway, including community and faith groups and health charities. Each provided four golf sessions to their young people before they got to show their new skills at the Bring it on Brum festival. Many got to play shots and get tips from Golf Foundation Ambassador Nicola Bennett, who is helping the Foundation reach more youngsters in city schools.
Tom Sparks, who leads on community engagement for the Golf Foundation, said: “It has been brilliant to demonstrate Golfway to a diverse selection of community groups that all have one thing in common: creating positive environments for their young people to thrive in and giving them confidence to reach their potential in what they do.
“We felt really privileged to be part of Bring it on Brum. This is just a start, a taster of golf, but you can’t underestimate how a positive experience of a new sport, enjoyed with your friends in a friendly environment, can have a beneficial effect on a young person and change perceptions.”
Matt James, Area Lead for StreetGames, said: “I think Bring it on Brum has been successful because from the start we worked closely with all the local community groups across 10 districts of Birmingham. It is inspiring that the children have been trying all kinds of new activities, including of course golf, a game many of the kids will have never had the chance to play before. We are really delighted to say the children loved their golf, the feedback has been fantastic!”
Brendon Pyle, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “Thanks to the expertise of StreetGames our team has been able to reach a new audience, and from here we want to build on this and help all the children who are keen to take their golf further.
“The R&A, our strongest supporter, has been right behind us in recent city community initiatives in Birmingham, London, Leeds and Bath. If youngsters from different backgrounds in cities get to try the game with their friends they are far more likely to take up the game more seriously, even if it may be a few years down the line sometimes; while their first experiences here are getting them energised, thinking creatively and having fun together.”
Making golf more inclusive and introducing the game to all children is a cornerstone of the Golf Foundation’s HSBC Golf Roots programme that aims to bring golf to 2 million youngsters over the next five years, and in 7,500 schools. See more at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yM0ft8a_5dY
Sharing the Golf Foundation’s vision, The R&A has made a significant investment to help the Golf Foundation and its partners grow the game across schools, community and golf clubs.
Also of note, ongoing Golf Foundation HSBC Golf Roots ‘PLUS’ projects support a variety of community groups, introducing the benefits of golf to young people from all backgrounds and abilities, including young people in economically deprived areas, or with special educational needs and disabilities. Twelve of these have been created in 2021in England, Scotland and Wales.
* Birmingham City Council video with Marcus Rashford at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WE4BUqkrMvrUBmUlFR7xodBJE–5HhPx/view
* See more on the Golf Foundation at www.golf-foundation.org