February has seen SNAG training courses held in some of the hottest and coldest places in the world. Firstly, Master Trainer Tony Howarth had a return visit to Lagos, Nigeria. It was exactly one year since his last visit and things have developed considerably. A record number of 42 school teachers attended the three day course, hosted by Nigerian distributor 2AT Limited. The most amazing fact was that NONE of the teachers had ever played golf before!
2AT Limited, a Lagos-based sports management firm, is partnering the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board and the Lagos State Amateur Golf Association to grow the game in the state. The programme commenced with a 2-day SNAG Training Course held at Astro Turf 2000, Ikoyi. The course was specifically designed to help physical education teachers, from the 20 Local Government Education Authorities, in the state to deliver the programme successfully within a school environment. The ‘Let’s Play Golf in Schools’ initiative introduces children in the state every year to golf by taking SNAG into public primary schools.
Adekemi Badmos, Director of 2AT, said “Core sports such as football, table tennis, basketball and athletics get introduced at this level and we think golf should too. Our objective is to teach the teachers how to impart golf knowledge in Physical Education classes. We will reach a lot more children if the teachers themselves are empowered with the knowledge to do this.”
“The Lagos State’s Universal Basic Education Board and the Ministry of Youth Development and Sport have been very supportive of this initiative and it all goes to show how genuine the state’s intention for sports development is,” she added.
Prior to attending, the Director of Schools Sports for the State, Mrs Grace Asagba (pictured with Tony) was curious how the programme could work in public schools given the elitism of the sport and lack of facilities. However, having attended the training session and seen the equipment and curriculum used in the SNAG programme, she said, “We are willing to support the teaching of golf in public schools all the way in the state,”
Honorary Secretary of the Lagos State Amateur Golf Association, Sola Lawson said he was pleased to see Tony and the SNAG training programme back in Lagos, and said the Association was committed to help introduce a minimum of 5000 children to golf by the end of 2014.
Ema Ekong from the Nigerian Golf Federation also visited the training course and was impressed by the equipment and the attitude towards learning by the teachers. The Federation has pledged their support to 2AT and the rollout of the programme.
L-R Tony Howarth (SNAG Master Trainer), Adekemi Badmos (Director of 2AT), Ema Ekong (Nigerian Golf Federation), Sola Lawson (Honorary Secretary of the Lagos State Amateur Golf Association) Olu Akapo(Sports Co-ordinator, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB))
The event culminated on the final day with the teachers delivering a SNAG session to 50 children. This session was a huge success and at the conclusion, Tony Howarth addressed the teachers and expressed his joy in seeing them deliver the activities with so much enthusiasm. Tony said, “I impressed upon the teachers the importance of delivering their sessions with such fun and excitement, this is what makes SNAG so successful. If the beginners’ first contact with golf is so enjoyable, they will want to come back for more.”