Skills for Life – a medal competition that is like no otherImagine the excitement for young players at the recent launch of GolfSixes League at Golf at Goodwood, as they stepped forward to be presented with their ‘Skills for Life’ medals by Ladies European Tour player Meghan MacLaren: a just reward for their positive and sporting attitude towards their fellow players.
Picture: Meghan hands out Skills for Life medals (image courtesy of Sam Stephenson)
Golf is a wonderful sport, offering ‘Skills for Life’, a game for life and a healthy life. The Golf Foundation welcomes more youngsters from all backgrounds into the sport, regardless of ability, and believes the introduction of golf should be fun, child-centred, inclusive, inspiring, innovative and enriching. Front and centre of this philosophy is our ‘Skills for Life’ learning which is included in every part of the charity’s HSBC Golf Roots programme.
So it was particularly fitting to see young players rewarded in this way at Golf at Goodwood, presented with their medals by new Ambassador to the Golf Foundation, Meghan MacLaren, who was only too happy to hand these out as the youngsters received applause from their PGA professional coaches and the many parents who had come along to spectate.
This year, all 56 of the GolfSixes Leagues in England, Scotland and Wales receive attractive Skills for Life medals that can be awarded at the end of each fixture to boys and girls who have demonstrated either an overall positive approach to the game and their fellow players or marked the day with an act of generosity or sportsmanship during competition. It is a powerful message about Skills for Life and one that will be experienced by the 250-plus golf clubs, 3,000 boys and girls and all the parents who will support GolfSixes League over the summer.
All PGA professionals who sign up for the new Junior Golf Passport learning programme receive a Skills for Life medal to award to deserving youngsters. The new, revamped 28-page physical Junior Golf Passport has enjoyed strong feedback from PGA pros when launched in April. The online support of coaches at www.juniorgolfpassport.org includes a number of incentives to offer young players as they learn, including the option of purchasing extra Skills for Life medals – a move which is proving popular as coaches can then dedicate medals as a regular reward to a number of student groups each week.
The ability to offer Skills for Life medals to golf clubs came out of support for the scheme from The 80:20 Charitable Trust and from Golf Monthly magazine, as both organisations recognised the important role golf can play in helping young people to develop both on and off the course.
Supporting the ethos behind Skills for Life, this year Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd., one of the largest fine turf care machinery providers in the world and based in Suffolk, is sponsoring the Skills for Life awards across the East Region of England.
Once again, any golf club which takes part in Skills for Life activities will be able to nominate their annual Skills for Life winner to be considered for the Mackenzie Award at the Golf Foundation’s prestigious Presidents’ Awards ceremony at Wentworth in September (see story earlier in this newsletter).