Littlestone Golf Club in New Romney has achieved the SafeGolf club accreditation from England Golf and becomes the first club in Kent to do so.
SafeGolf is a partnership of UK golf bodies committed to promoting a safe and positive environment for all those participating, working and volunteering in the sport of golf.
Littlestone, which is hosting The R&A Junior Open in 2020, has received the SafeGolf accreditation by demonstrating its commitment to safeguarding children and young people, as well as adults in risk in the sport of golf.
As part of its commitment to developing junior golf, the club has taken golf into five local junior schools, where the club’s professionals offer free lessons to the under 10s, many of whom have gone on to join as junior members. It has also seen great success with the Girls Golf Rocks programme that it has been running for the past two years and offers weekly group coaching sessions and school holiday coaching weeks open to all under 18’s.
Littlestone’s Director of Golf, James Cunliffe, who has led the club’s push to SafeGolf, said: “Littlestone is a great club. It’s very friendly, welcoming and forward-thinking and has a great attitude towards promoting junior golf. This award helps us to spread that message and to tell people that children and vulnerable adults are safe and secure here.”
The award was presented to Littlestone by Allison Boozer, England Golf’s Club Regional Support Officer. “I’m delighted that Littlestone has achieved SafeGolf and that its efforts to grow the game can be nationally recognised. This is the first club in Kent to achieve this status and is a shining light for other local clubs to follow.”
Along with Littlestone, the Kent Golf Union is also accredited with SafeGolf and is only the second union in England to have achieved this status. The secretary of the KGU, Sarah McDonald said: “We are thrilled that Littlestone has achieved SafeGolf. We want Kent to lead the way in ensuring those who play and work in our county do so in the knowledge their union and golf clubs are committed to providing the safest and most positive golfing environment.”
The SafeGolf partnership consists of members from the golfing bodies across Great Britain & Ireland and has been established to help golf respond to the issue of child protection in sport. Its mission is to safeguard the welfare of children and young people, as well as adults at risk, in the sport of golf.
SafeGolf is firstly a website (www.safegolf.org) through which anyone with a concern about the welfare of a player or the behaviour or practice of a coach, volunteer, organiser, parent or a player, can contact the lead safeguarding officer at their national governing body. Secondly, it is the safeguarding standard England Golf will promote to all their affiliated clubs to ensure all clubs provide a safe and positive experience to children and young people whilst playing golf. The PGA is also using the standards to apply to all its PGA professional Coaches.