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Jack Nicklaus visits UK to coach Manchester youngsters

12.52am 28th May 2010 - People - This story was updated on Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Jack Nicklaus coaching (c) Getty Images for RBS

18-time Major winner and RBS ambassador, Jack Nicklaus, visited Manchester’s Heaton Park Golf Centre on Tuesday to provide some valuable golf coaching to youngsters from The First Tee of Manchester, thanks to sponsor The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

Over 20 lucky youngsters from The First Tee of Manchester travelled to Heaton Park Golf Centre to meet Jack, where they received first-hand coaching from the golfing legend himself.

Nicklaus, Honorary Chairman of The First Tee®, met with the children to not only provide instruction on the game of golf, but to discuss the importance of life lessons, sportsmanship, and the honourable traditions of the game that help shape the character of young people, which they were encouraged to apply in their everyday life.

Afterwards, Jack signed autographs for the youngsters taking part from local schools (King David and Temple Schools) and took part in a Q&A session where the children asked Jack questions about his life in golf and about how they can contribute to others in the community and help serve as mentors to help other young people who would not otherwise have the opportunity.

Dawn Roberts, Executive Director of The First Tee, commented: “It was an honour to welcome Jack Nicklaus to Heaton Park. In 2009, the First Tee of Manchester reached over 1000 young people in this area and it is events like this one that help us to raise the profile and funds to reach even more kids this year.”

Nicklaus was greeted by the Lord Mayor of Manchester as he arrived to host a master-class as part of the First Tee’s inaugural annual charity golf tournament at the park. And the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Mark Hackett, who took up his position last week, also tried his luck on the fairway under the watchful eye of the sporting hero.

The Lord Mayor said: “It was fantastic to welcome Jack Nicklaus to Heaton Park. I’m a huge sports fan so it was a real treat, not only for me but for everyone involved in the tournament. Promoting involvement in sport and its associated benefits is a major focus for my year in office, so I was particularly pleased to see so many young people enjoying themselves and learning from a real professional.”

Nicklaus, who has been a long-standing supporter of The First Tee since its inception in the U.S., is helping to establish the programme in the UK, following the launch of the Manchester chapter in June last year. The First Tee of Manchester, based at Heaton Park Golf Centre. The First Tee’s Life Skills Experience® builds upon the various successful school based programs of the Golf Foundation. RBS, as a Trustee of The First Tee programme since 2004, supported Jack’s visit in his capacity as an RBS Ambassador.

Heaton Park, with the help of the First Tee of Manchester, is hoping to get more than 1,000 young people playing golf this summer. Heaton Park is Manchester’s leading public golf course and is one of an elite group of facilities to have been awarded Golf Mark status accreditation by the English Golf Union, to identify and recognise junior and beginner friendly facilities.

Heaton Park www.heatonpark.org.uk

First Tee of Manchester www.thefirstteemanchester.org

       

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