The Golf Foundation, a charity committed to the sporting and social development of young people through golf, is playing a growing role in getting children fitter and helping to reduce obesity rates among children in schools.
The Golf Foundation works to equip youngsters with ‘skills for life’ through its national golf initiatives, including an appreciation of how all sport can benefit mental and physical wellbeing.
Through the Foundation’s active role in some 265 local school sport partnerships, school golf games like Tri-Golf and Golf Xtreme are being widely adopted to help children get fit and find confidence through sport.
Recently published government figures* indicate a significant increase in the number of children taking part in at least two hours of PE each week, exceeding government targets to revitalise sport in schools and help tackle obesity.
From a golf-in-schools perspective, a regional example of this good work can be found at the Bolsover and District School Sports Partnership, in Derbyshire.
Tri-Golf, a modified, fun golf game which encourages children to hit lots of shots and run around, has been adopted by the Bolsover Wellness Programme after talks with the Golf Foundation. The project specifically aims to address the life expectancy target set by the government by increasing levels of physical activity among children, which in turn will reduce obesity, reduces the risk of stroke, CHD, diabetes and a range of other illnesses. All primary school aged children are being targeted within Bolsover District and are being given the opportunity to play Tri-Golf as part of the school partnership’s ‘School Links’ project, which is funded by Sport England.
Andy Leigh, Golf Foundation development officer for the region, said, “We are delighted that Tri-Golf can play such a positive role in the Bolsover Five 60 Health for life Programme and help get children fitter, something that is now being reflected in so many of our partnerships throughout the country using Tri-Golf and Golf Xtreme.”
Bolsover District Councillor Brian Huddless said, “Bolsover District Council in conjunction with Derbyshire County PCT are delivering the Five 60 Health for Life programme which encourages children to eat five fruit and vegetables and take 60 minutes worth of exercise per day. The programme is designed to encourage and help children acquire the knowledge, skills, and motivation necessary for them to adopt a long and healthy lifestyle.”
Brendon Pyle, development manager for the Golf Foundation, said, “Working with children in schools is a major part of the Golf Foundation’s activity and a vital part of England Golf’s ‘Start’ initiative in the Whole Sport Plan. The Foundation takes Tri-Golf into around 3,000 primary schools and Golf Xtreme into an increasing number of secondary schools. The two initiatives have both PE and also clear curriculum benefits, each specially packaged to help children in the school environment.”
* The quoted figures are released in the ‘2005/06 School Sport Survey’ of more than 16,800 schools in school sport partnerships. The survey reveals that 80% of pupils now take part in at least two hours high quality PE and sport a week.
Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org