As part of a new junior strategy with England Golf to introduce the game to new audiences, The Golf Foundation was delighted to host a successful schools festival at Bush Hill Park Golf Course in North London last week.
With around 100 kids in attendance from nine local schools, the festival allowed the charity, in partnership with the Enfield PE Team, to introduce the game of golf to youngsters who had either never played before or who had taken part in sessions delivered to their school by the Golf Foundation in recent months.
The event was part of the HSBC Golf Roots programme that sees the Foundation deliver golf sessions in schools, clubs and communities across the country. This activity is delivered in partnership with The R&A, the DP World Tour and HSBC.
Nine schools attended the event, including two schools with special education needs, as pupils took part in a variety of activities across the afternoon.
The youngsters used Golfway equipment specially designed for kids starting out in the game to take on putting and chipping challenges, as well as a special skills session from PGA Coach and professional player Nicola Bennett.
“Being from the local area, this event means so much to me,” said Bennett, who is an ambassador for the Golf Foundation and PGA Professional at Bush Hill Park Golf Club.
“I love seeing the kids smiling and having fun with a golf club in their hand. I love working with The Golf Foundation for that very reason, because I know first hand of the barriers that can face minorities trying to access the sport, and I want to help open it up to more kids. The Golf Foundation does that every day.”
The Golf Foundation is currently celebrating its 70th year since Sir Henry Cotton founded the organisation in 1952 with his creed that ‘we should give the game, without compromise, without intimidation, without prejudice, to as many as we possibly could’.
This event at Bush Hill Park came at the end of a weekend which also saw the Golf Foundation bring their 70th anniversary celebrations to The Belfry, where a community festival was delivered at The Betfred British Masters.
There, locals from all backgrounds were welcomed from the Bring It On Brum project, a partnership with Street Games, where young people from 14 inner city youth organisations were introduced to golf last summer as part of the largest government Holiday and Activity Food programme in the country.
“It’s been fabulous to see so many happy kids at both The Belfry and at Bush Hill Park here today,” said Brendon Pyle, CEO of the Golf Foundation.
“The Golf Foundation works hard to help youngsters from all backgrounds to secure a pathway from golf in schools to enjoying life as a junior player at club level.
“Events like this are what we are all about, where we can introduce the game to those who might not consider it otherwise, and might not have the opportunity to get a club in their hands.
“We’ve had a successful 70 years of impact, and we know that we’ve introduced the game to generations of kids in that time.
“Now we are gearing up for the next 70 years, and want to do even more. For that reason, we are eternally grateful to the funding we get from The R&A, HSBC and the PGA and the partnership support we get from England Golf and the DP World Tour, all allow us to make the sport more inclusive.”