Caernarfon school children were joined yesterday (Thursday, 14th June) by America’s Ray Carrasco, 2004 Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open Champion, and former Welsh coach, Craig Defoy, to mark the official opening of the new grassroots golf facility at Coed Helen Recreation Park.
The grassroots golf project has been developed following a financial boost from the Ryder Cup Wales Legacy Fund to Gwynedd Council to inspire a new generation of local golfers.
Gwynedd Council were awarded £56,487 to foster interest in golf among primary school children. The funding has assisted in the development of community golf facilities at four primary schools (Ysgol yr Hendre, Ysgol Maesincla, Ysgol y Gelli and Ysgol Santes Helen) which have seen the creation of four cut and play tri-golf courses and the purchase of tri-golf equipment. In addition to this the old pitch and putt facility has been upgraded into an open access ‘golf court’ within Coed Helen Recreation Park.
The Legacy fund is a £2m investment into grassroots golf, provided by the Welsh Assembly Government, and is one of the commitments give in Wales’ successful bid to host the 2010 event. It is intended to help local authorities, schools and golf clubs throughout Wales to develop publicly accessible facilities essential for encouraging players new to the game.
Rob Holt, Chief Executive of Ryder Cup Wales 2010 Ltd., was present at the unveiling of the new facilities, “The Ryder Cup Legacy Fund is committed to creating more opportunities for people in Wales to take part in the game and Coed Helen is a great example of how we are encouraging new players to the sport.
“The opening of this facility represents a tangible and permanent benefit for future generations and is a direct result of Wales hosting The 2010 Ryder Cup. The Ryder Cup bid commitment is to ensure that all of Wales benefits from the event and this is one example of how we are doing this.”
The Coed Helen project aims to encourage new players through fun activities as well as supporting a pathway for beginners who wish to develop and play on a full size course.
School children from local primary schools – who have been involved with the design and planning of the new grassroots golf facility – were present at the official opening today to inspect the new facilities and to take part in a team event on the new course.
Councillor Meinir Owen, chairman of Gwynedd Council, said, “We are delighted to see the completion and launch of the new facility and would like to thank Ryder Cup Wales for their support. We hope to encourage children and new players to the sport of golf and in particular to the new golf court which allows for holes of varying lengths and difficulty, giving an excellent short game practice facility for players of all standards.”
“I am certain that by providing accessible facilities throughout Wales which will be less daunting for the beginner, we will attract a new generation of golfers into the game.”
Dilwyn Griffiths, Golf Development Wales’ North Wales officer, said, “We are delighted to be working with the local authority and the golf clubs in Gwynedd in order to produce a new generation of golfers. Facilities such as those proposed at the four primary schools and at Coed Helen will enable us to introduce hundreds of young children every year to the sport of golf in a fun and safe way. These facilities are an ideal stepping stone in the development of new beginners as fully fledged golfers.”
“This project will provide people of all ages and from all communities with the chance to play golf and enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle. Future generations will certainly benefit from this legacy.”
The Legacy Fund is administered by The Sports Council for Wales on behalf of Ryder Cup Wales and is supported by the golfing organisations behind the Ryder Cup in Europe – The European Tour and the Professional Golfers Association, as well as the Golf Union of Wales.
Ryder Cup Wales www.rydercupwales2010.com