‘England Futures’ is an elite training package to help create a range of world-beating golf professionals to follow in the footsteps of Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Laura Davies and others.
However, given the uncertain nature of top-level professional sport, England Futures also provides targeted educational support to present progressive career opportunities in golf and other sports.
England Futures is a joint initiative by the English Golf Union (EGU) and English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) and utilises funding linked to the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) programme, a government funded scheme developed by ‘Skills Active’, the sector skills council for sport and active recreation.
The AASE lasts for two years and is open to players aged 16-19 who are in full-time education studying A-levels (in any subject) or BTEC qualifications (in sports related subjects). The programme combines the existing academic study with a carefully structured golf development programme which is encompassed within an NVQ in Sports Performance and Excellence.
The recruitment of talented young girls is a key driver of this initiative which benefits from using experienced PGA professional coaches to take golfing performance to new levels.
Once selected, the England Futures player will receive top class coaching from specially selected England coaches, a complete package of sports science support including bio-mechanics, strength and conditioning and psychological training, as well as additional resources to meet competition and tournament expenses.
Stuart Armstrong, Talent Development Manager for the EGP, said: “England Futures is providing an exciting but demanding environment in which students really can take their golf to the next level and develop as people at the same time. For this reason we are looking for individuals who are prepared to work very hard and who have an excellent attitude. This will be very important.
“In return the students will receive great coaching but also really strong educational opportunities including, amongst others for example, access to the PGA’s Foundation Degree, that could in turn lead them into exciting careers in the sport.”
Each England Futures player will already have a track record of playing competitive amateur golf to a high level, nationally or within their region or county. The EGP has been working to sign up 100 students in September who will operate from 10 regional centres in England. Typically, the young student will have a handicap of 4 or better (quickly improving higher handicaps would be considered if there is evidence of strong talent).
The EGU and EWGA have been receiving applications through the county golf network but there are still late places available for this Autumn’s intake. Application forms are available on www.englishgolfunion.org and www.englishwomensgolf.org
The closing date for applications is Friday 17th September 2010.
England Futures is an initiative jointly provided by the EGU and EWGA via the England Golf Partnership’s ‘Whole Sport Plan’ for golf and is an integral part of the EGP’s vision to ‘Grow the Game’. It is part of the 2020 vision to be the ‘leading golfing nation in the world’.