Tapton Park Golf Club, Derbyshire has been awarded the prestigious GolfMark Club of the Year Award, which was supported this year by Canterbury.
The club held off some tough opposition for the honour but impressed judges with their programmes to encourage juniors into the game, working with schools and the local community within the Chesterfield area and beyond.
Funding of £9,700 has been awarded to the club through the Awards for All programmes and it has successfully used the money to implement a development plan, form a junior section support group and junior committee. Club volunteers now work within 18 primary and 5 secondary schools within their area and funding has been used to increase the number of coaches who can support the schools activity.
Golf Development Manager Richard Flint said, “We have been very impressed with the way that Tapton Park has grown its coaching throughout schools. Importantly, they have then continued the links from those schools through to the golf club so ensuring youngsters being introduced to the game can continue to participate and follow through a structure, hopefully to golf club membership.”
Golf Club member John Barker and PGA professional Andy Carnall first began the programme in 2003 and it has continued to develop so that membership now exceeds 100 youngsters. The club also operates a Leadership Programme allowing juniors the opportunity to volunteer to help out at annual Golf Festivals and Saturday morning coaching.
John Barker paid tribute to all the volunteers at the club who had supported the programme and its continued growth. “The development in the junior section has been a keen factor in driving other changes at the club and since 2004 Tapton Park has virtually transformed itself. It could not have happened without the support of the members and their willingness to treat the juniors as equals in the running of the club.”
In addition to taking the top accolade, Tapton Park received prizes from sponsors of the awards, sport clothing company Canterbury of New Zealand. Gary Wathen, sales and marketing manager for Canterbury presented the club with adult and junior sportswear that included polo shirts and Canterbury baselayer.
Runners up in the Club of the Year Awards were Aquarius Golf Club, Kent for its work with both juniors and adults in a wide variety of coaching, competitive and social activities and Skipton Golf Club, Yorkshire for its work in introducing golf to primary schools and a junior academy at the club.
Any affiliated golf club can apply to gain the GolfMark (incorporating Clubmark) Award and will be supported on the three key areas of coaching & playing, club environment (including sports equity & ethics) and child protection & duty of care. The initiative provides golf clubs with a focused and structured plan for future development as well as a comprehensive set of files that ensure continuity and effective monitoring and evaluation
EGU/EWGA Development Officers are available to support golf clubs from registration to accreditation to help them to strive towards ‘the ideal’. The benefits of GolfMark are not just upon accreditation but are evident when working through the process as it provides an opportunity to review and improve policies and procedures.
Details of the initiative, the clubs awarded and the benefits of receiving the GolfMark Award can all be found at www.golfmark.org