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December 2, 2021

Bringing golf to London Youth

An outreach project introducing golf to young people in London helped to break down barriers and improve the perception of the sport.

‘I used to believe that golf was for a certain kind of person and on this course I was shown that those stereotypes are not true.’ (Youth worker)

To further its work of introducing golf to young people across the UK and broaden its reach into communities in London, the Golf Foundation partnered with London Youth (a charity on a mission to improve the lives of young people in London, working with and through a network of 600+ community youth organisations.)

Together, London Youth and the Golf Foundation introduced Golfway to 10 community youth organisations across London in the Spring/Summer of 2021. The aim was to encourage young Londoners to be active and try golf for the first time, while developing the skills for life that the game teaches them.

How the project worked

10 community youth organisations from 10 London boroughs received a package of support which included staff training, equipment, seed funding, and a festival to experience Golfway. The aim was to demonstrate how easily golf could be incorporated into their activities. A diverse group of young people were involved in the project.

  • 15 staff from 8 organisations received training resources to deliver golf sessions confidently in their organisation
  • 217 young people aged 8-13 were introduced to golf using Golfway equipment
  • 60 young people from 7 organisations enjoyed a golf festival at a London Youth member organisation.

Highlights and feedback

To understand the impact of the pilot project, the young people involved completed a reflective survey and gave feedback on the activity.

Out of the total survey respondents (29/60 attendees at the golf festival):

  • 96% agreed they had fun at the event
  • 86% agreed that they think golf is fun
  • 86% agreed that they understand the teaching points and skills for life.

Comments from young people included:

‘It’s fun, and it’s building up my confidence in myself and trying new sports and activities.’

‘It’s a calming sport, it makes me relax and I enjoy it (makes me smile).’

‘You’re just focusing on one thing and I can block everything else out. I like being able to strike the ball and get it in the hole – I’m achieving.’

A positive future for golf in the community in London

All the 10 organisations involved wish to continue providing Golfway sessions for the young people they work with. One group included golf in their summer camp activities, another planned to develop a female only session.

When surveyed, all the youth workers who attended the training strongly agreed they had learned something new, and many highlighted a changed perception to golf following the training:

One said:
‘I used to believe that golf was for a certain kind of person and on this course I was shown that those stereotypes are not true.’

In addition to the opportunities offered during the pilot, the Golf Foundation and London Youth have been able to facilitate additional opportunities. One organisation received extra equipment to increase the reach of their sessions, other groups enjoyed trips to The Open and BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Looking forward

The success of this pilot project with London Youth demonstrates there is the desire and ability for community youth organisations to play a key role in growing the sport, increasing its accessibility and reach.

The project with London Youth shows there is an appetite for golf in London and our charity will continue to provide opportunities for more young people in the capital to enjoy positive golfing experiences in their communities. We are working with London Youth to expand the project to 25 youth clubs with a greater focus on teaching life skills, all subject to securing further funding.

Liona Bravo, Sports Development Officer for London Youth, said:

‘Working with the Golf Foundation has been an exciting opportunity to introduce the sport to communities across London, to encourage young Londoners to be active and to ensure barriers to accessing opportunities are reduced. The response from young people and youth organisations has been overwhelmingly positive and has demonstrated that the demand to get involved in the sport is present. Partnering with the Golf Foundation ensured we were able to offer our members the highest quality resources and access to opportunities, and it’s been a pleasure working together.’

(Image courtesy of Emile Holba)

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