.The Golf Foundation Presidents’ Awards at Wentworth celebrated the “inspirational work” of volunteers and professionals who have given their time and enthusiasm to provide young people from all backgrounds and abilities with a start in the game.
Thanks to support from the European Tour, a total of 10 awards were presented in Wentworth Club’s elegant Ballroom to individuals and group projects who exemplify how junior golf can flourish for the good of all. A major theme of the day was how the teaching of life skills through golf can help young people to thrive in the wider aspects of their lives, and this ‘Skills for Life’ message resounded in every award category.
On the eve of the BMW PGA Championship, a packed audience of nearly 200 applauded as Emma Anderson, England Golf’s Young Ambassador of the Year, opened the proceedings with a speech about how she has been inspired by the game.
Emma said: “Golf is a great sport for girls because it helps grow their confidence, it certainly has for me! It can teach girls how to interact with people of all ages and backgrounds, with the values the game promotes being useful in so many different areas.''
''To encourage more girls to take up the sport, it is crucial to grow the inclusive atmosphere at golf clubs, allowing everyone to feel welcome and comfortable in any club.”
Foundation President Sandy Jones added: “This is one of our most wonderful days of the year as we all feel inspired to be part of this dynamic group. The desire and commitment to support young people shines through in every case and makes me feel they are making the game better now, and for the future.”
The winners included:
The Critchley Award
Presented to a project that has taken golf into the community and made the sport available to any young person.
WINNER: Palace For Life Foundation for its success in creating opportunities for young golfers and developing junior players in its community.
The Bonallack Award
Presented to a project that has helped young people to ‘Start, Learn, Stay’ in golf.
WINNER: Pyle & Kenfig Golf Club for creating a pathway that has resulted in a significant increase in junior membership at the golf facility.
The Montgomerie Award
Presented to a young volunteer, in recognition of his/her time and effort spent supporting junior development.
WINNER: Hannah Chaudry, a young volunteer at Northcliffe Golf Club in Yorkshire, who has helped to run the junior academy and summer camp sessions and organised the club’s junior fundraising day for the last two years, last year raising £1,000. When Hannah started as female junior Captain there were nine junior members and after running weekly academy sessions, 28 juniors attended on a regular basis, the junior membership grew to 44, 12 of whom were girls. Assistant PGA Pro Matt Stanworth said: “Hannah is a fantastic supporter of the younger girls, not only does she coach them, she is also a friend, and her help to me in group coaching makes the sessions really productive and fun.”
The Burroughs Award
Presented to an individual who has made particular progress in golf in the face of adversity or a project that has made efforts to create opportunities for those with special needs.
WINNER: The Sheffield Inclusive Golf project provided fully accessible and inclusive golf sessions for a group of young people with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities. A Special Olympics Golf Club was then formed to offer participants the opportunity to take part in the Special Olympics National Games which will be held in Sheffield later this year.
The Gus Payne Award
Presented to the golf club that donates the most amount of money in support of the Golf Foundation’s activities.
WINNER: Enfield Golf Club and Captain Phil Tiddy for their generous contribution of just under £9,000 raised by adopting the Golf Foundation as the Captain’s Charity.
The Mackenzie Award
Presented to a project or individual that has successfully integrated Skills for Life into its work with young people.
WINNER: AL Junior Academies led by PGA Pro Aaron Lansberry for promoting life skills to over 120 children from all backgrounds at three golf clubs in Warwickshire.
The ‘Laddie’ Lucas Award
Presented to a project that has created more opportunities for girls to play golf.
WINNER: Cottingham Parks Golf Club for engaging more beginner girls into golf by working with the local sports partnership and secondary schools.
To learn more about the Golf Foundation call 01992 449830 or see www.golf-foundation.org
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