The Golf Foundation, a charity committed to the sporting and social development of young people through golf, reports the staging of a highly successful Education and Golf Day, at The Belfry on 14th April.
The event put together 151 of the most committed and influential teachers, PE specialists, head teachers, competition managers, PGA professionals and partnership development managers who work in the education sector. Experiencing The Belfry’s excellent facilities, delegates took part in a day of activities all geared to enhancing the delivery of golf in schools to help children of all ages and abilities.
Added discussion included the importance of linking schools to golf clubs to create a pathway so youngsters can make lasting progress, and also the many positive benefits the sport can offer young people. The Golf Foundation’s expert development team was able to demonstrate how golf in the school setting can be good for both pupils and staff. Children learn not only golf skills but ‘skills for life’ – honesty, respect, co-operation, perseverance, concentration and self-motivation – which will help them through their youth and into adulthood. In turn, teachers are given ever-greater support in order to utilise Golf Foundation golf games as a curriculum resource, while the ‘skills for life’ message is being used increasingly in school citizenship programmes and ‘Every Child Matters’ work.
Brendon Pyle, development manager of the Golf Foundation, said, “This was a highly successful day. Many of the delegates present are leading the way in school sport. I think we have been able to show just how good golf can be in giving young people vital life skills. Initial feedback from all the delegates has been fantastic and we look forward to them sharing what they have learned with colleagues, parents and sports volunteers in their community.”
Themes for the day included:
• How to deliver high quality Tri-Golf sessions in primary schools and Golf Xtreme sessions in secondary schools.
• New primary school resources and skills award programme work, together with discussion of Every Child Matters ethos and good citizenship programme.
• The new Golf Foundation competition toolkit: this fits in with the government agenda of promoting more competitive sport in schools. The toolkit will be another great way of getting golf firmly on the schools agenda and for further developing links with schools.
Figures for golf in education and the community are certainly encouraging. For example, in England in 2007, the Golf Foundation trained a total of 4,451 volunteers, sports leaders, coaches and teachers as it supported the England Golf Partnership’s bid to grow the game (this figure represents a 44 per cent increase from 2006). Of this number, 2,953 teachers were trained (a 52 per cent increase on 2006) to deliver Tri-Golf for younger children and Golf Xtreme for secondary school pupils. The Foundation also tapped into the talent of young volunteers, training 627 14-18 year-olds to mentor youngsters at schools and golf clubs. All these people have helped to reach an estimated 700,000 children in the last year.
Recently released government figures for sport in schools (figures for England) indicate that over the last four years the number of schools offering golf has increased from just over 3,000 to almost 6,800, and the amount of schools having formal links with golf clubs has also doubled.
Brendon Pyle added, “Hopefully, this successful golf day at The Belfry will play a part in maintaining this strong momentum for school and community golf. I’d like to thank all the staff at The Belfry for looking after our delegates so well and helping to create a memorable day.”
Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org