His project, ‘Here Come The Girls’, which runs at Fynn Valley, is one of the finalists for the Gillette Community Coach of the Year Award.
Spink, the County Development Officer for the Suffolk Golf Partnership and director of coaching at Fynn Valley Golf Club, will be recognised at the finals of the UK Coaching Awards 2013, which take
place at a glittering ceremony in London on Tuesday, 3 December.
His successful formula is to offer group coaching which focusses on learning through playing, with many of the sessions taking place on the golf course.
The women are encouraged to communicate and get together to support each other and, after the coaching sessions, each group is offered a further month to play the Par 3 course. They are then invited to a reunion to discuss their experiences and, on average, 75 per cent of students
return for these sessions and by then most are playing regularly.
Students are offered a discount on the first year’s membership at Fynn Valley. So far, 15 women have joined and many more have purchased equipment. Spink is still in touch with around half of the women who have taken part in ‘Here Come The Girls’.
Spink, a Fellow Professional of the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA), underpins his coaching style with learning theories which he is studying at the University of Birmingham. As part of a small cohort of coaches, he has recently gained a Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Coaching and is now in his third year of a Masters degree, with a coaching focus on gender culture and women’s participation within sport.
He has also recently delivered a series of PGA coaching workshops, demonstrating the theory behind ‘Here Come The Girls’, illustrating how fellow professionals can use the framework within their own coaching.
The Suffolk Golf Partnership brings together the men’s, women’s and professionals’ organisations to grow the game in the county. It supports the national Get into golf campaign which offers low-cost coaching opportunities to inspire new and returning golfers.
Photograph: Alastair Spink (centre) with ‘Here Come The Girls’.