More than 2,000 children the length and breadth of England and Wales will help to demonstrate what a wonderful sport golf can be for youngsters as they take part in the Golf Foundation’s first ever Tri-Golf Festival Fortnight in March.
The Festival Fortnight runs from 17 to 30 March and aims to show how new and established community golf projects are opening up the sport to a wider audience, attracting boys and girls from different backgrounds and providing children, including those with special needs and learning difficulties, with sporting opportunities to aid their development.
The Golf Foundation is the national charity committed to making golf more accessible to young people. The Festival Fortnight includes 22 regional children’s golf festivals, involving just under 200 schools, from as far north as Belle Vue Infants in Carlisle to Newlyn School, near Penzance in Cornwall.
Every festival will welcome around 100 children, aged five years and up from a number of local schools, with the accent very much on fun (one festival, held in Exeter, will have a total of 27 of the area’s schools taking part).
Each festival has been organised by an ongoing community golf project led by a team of teachers, volunteers, junior golf leaders from golf clubs, PGA professionals and Golf Foundation development officers. The 22 community partnerships are a sample of some 180 similar local sports partnerships the Golf Foundation is now working with as part of England Golf and Golf Development Wales. All are dedicated to improving links between schools and private and public golf facilities and encouraging new players to have a go at golf.
Mike Round, chief executive of the Golf Foundation, said, “The tremendous progress made by so many local sports partnerships in opening up golf to more people seems to be one of the sport’s best-kept secrets. Many people still think of golf as very much an elitist game but are unaware of the magnificent progress made in many areas of the country to make the game more accessible for all. Hopefully, anyone who attends one of these festivals will start to understand how local sports partnerships are making a fantastic contribution to the future of the sport.”
Tri-Golf is a specially modified version of golf using oversized plastic clubs, balls and colourful targets to help youngsters grasp the fundamentals of golf more easily. Endorsed by the PGA, the PGA European Tour and star players like Nick Faldo, Tri-Golf is played annually by an estimated 300,000 children. The Tri- Golf Festival Fortnight is now set to become a regular fixture in the calendar of the Golf Foundation.
Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org