More than 100 children from 10 of Kent’s schools are playing a key role in celebrating The 149th Open on Monday. Some 120 boys and girls will be joining national junior charity the Golf Foundation to compete in their School Games Final, held just a pitch and a putt away from where The Open is being staged at Royal St George’s.
On Monday of Open week (July 12), in order to celebrate the growing role the Golf Foundation plays each year in the School Games as a supporter of the Youth Sport Trust, the Foundation team is preparing to welcome the Kent schools to take part in a unique School Games Festival Final, playing ‘Golfway’ games on the turf of Prince’s Golf Club, just yards from Royal St George’s.
Easy-to-learn Golfway is a format at the core of the new Golf Foundation Primary School Programme 2021, which will give a first try at golf to two million children from all backgrounds, in 7,500 schools over the next five years, as a key part of the Foundation’s national HSBC Golf Roots initiative.
The 120 youngsters (including 60 girls) will all be competing together in this inclusive golf festival. They will be in teams of six to play a series of games to find overall winners, while medals can also be won on the day for showing the ‘Skills for Life’ that golf offers, including respect, resilience, encouraging others and sportsmanship.
Cheering on the boys and girls at Prince’s will be special guests in former European Tour star and Sky Sports presenter Nick Dougherty, who is a friend of the Golf Foundation and supporter of junior golf, HSBC Ambassador, Wimbledon legend and passionate golfer Tim Henman, and the Golf Foundation’s own new Ambassador Nicola Bennett, a committed PGA coach working to open up golf for youngsters from all backgrounds.
Following their final, the youngsters will enjoy the opportunity of moving from Prince’s GC to The Open venue itself, and watching the world’s best players as they practise ahead of The Open starting on Thursday. The children will also be able to visit ‘The R&A SwingZone’ in the Spectator Village at Royal St George’s and meet the Golf Foundation team to enjoy further games and putting challenges. Here, the charity team is stationed during the week with partners England Golf and The PGA to welcome all visiting families to have a try at golf; activity made possible courtesy of The R&A.
Martin Crowder, Head of Development for the Golf Foundation, said: “It is a privilege to welcome all the boys and girls in their teams to The Open from 10 of Kent’s schools. We would like to thank all the teachers, parents and children who have helped create such an inclusive golf festival for youngsters of all abilities. This is a great way of showing how popular a game golf is becoming in schools.
“All of our national HSBC Golf Roots programme is focused on introducing children to golf, from all backgrounds, creating golfers. We do this because golf can change lives. It’s exciting to think Kent youngsters can be really inspired by this experience at The Open and we will work with their schools to help keep them golfing into the future.”
#CreatingGolfers will be the Golf Foundation’s hashtag for Open week across social media. Why not follow the progress of the Kent youngsters on Monday!
(Image courtesy of Emile Holba)