West Bradford Golf Club’s efforts to reach out to the local community have boosted grass roots junior golf and won praise from leading golf charity the Golf Foundation.
The club is based in an area that doesn’t enjoy high economic wealth and the golf course itself has suffered vandalism in the past. Yet club members share a positive outlook and want to engage with youngsters in the community.
Starting last summer, a junior academy was created at the club for local boys and girls. The club’s PGA professional Chris Schofield gave up his time free to coach and after a small advertisement in the local paper and some ‘word-of-mouth’, more than 20 young people started to enjoy golf at the academy. With ages from five upwards, all the children have been welcomed by members of the club.
West Bradford Golf Club has recently forged links with the Golf Foundation and the charity’s Regional Development Officer for the North East, John Wood, is now keen to help the club to take golf into more local schools and increase opportunities for youngsters to start to play golf and learn at the junior academy.
He was also delighted to be presented recently with a cheque for £1,000 for the Golf Foundation from the club Captain’s official charity for the year; the money will go towards the Foundation’s national strategy to increase participation in the sport among young people and offer them ‘Skills for Life’ benefits.
John Wood said: “West Bradford’s junior academy is enjoying early success because of all the hard work of Chris Schofield and the members, and is also due to their positive attitude towards local young people. I look forward to supporting the club to help make an even greater impact on the community in the months to come.”
John added: “We the Golf Foundation are also hugely grateful for this very generous donation to our national cause, a proven strategy for youngsters which impacts on schools and clubs up and down the country. A big part of the Golf Foundation’s brief is to offer ‘Skills for Life’ to young people and this thinking is much in evidence among the coaching staff at West Bradford Golf Club.”
The Golf Foundation is aiming to reach one million children per year through its national programme, ‘HSBC Golf Roots’. To achieve this, it has a fundraising target of £3 million per year. HSBC Golf Roots is already supported by The R&A, The European Tour, the Professional Golfers’ Association, the Ryder Cup Committee and Trust, the British Golf Industry Association’s ‘Grow Golf’ Fund, Sport England and headline sponsor HSBC, who collectively contribute just under £2 million. If golf clubs and club members help the Foundation to reach the fundraising target, the charity will not only be able to generate future club members, but will also have a positive impact on the lives of many, many children and young people.
West Bradford Golf Club www.westbradfordgolfclub.co.uk
To learn more about HSBC Golf Roots and the Golf Foundation see www.golf-foundation.org