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November 27, 2020

Reimagining golf for schools

The Golf Foundation team is “delighted” with the connections the charity made at this year’s School Games National Summit, and for being nominated in a prestigious national education award.

(Pictured:  Youngsters thriving through golf in the school environment – photo taken pre-Covid-19, courtesy of Steven Laurence)

Impressively, the whole conference was staged online by organisers the Youth Sport Trust, attended by delegates from across the education sector last week (November 19). Members of the Golf Foundation development team, Alice Lowe, Martin Crowder and Andy Leigh, saw the summit as an opportunity to consult with School Games Organisers on new approaches to competition in primary schools and secondary schools.

The team showcased ideas for these challenging pandemic times and beyond to support the School Games, a government led programme delivered by the Youth Sport Trust. The team was on hand to reaffirm how golf can play a key role in the school setting for fun, safe, inclusive and energetic learning and play for boys and girls of all abilities.

Alice and Martin hosted the Golf Foundation’s ‘virtual exhibition stand’, with Andy taking part in the workshops at this #SGSummit20. During the day the team had 155 interactions with interested delegates, while 165 of our school golf resources were downloaded.

Andy Leigh, who leads on schools for the Foundation, said: “This was a great opportunity for us to share our knowledge, learn from others and put forward our new ideas. The audience of School Games Organisers, Youth Sport Trust staff and educationalists provides the ultimate test and the feedback was very positive. The tag-line for the summit was “Reimagining the School Games”, and we were talking with delegates to show all the strengths of golf as an option for the School Games, including its essential inclusivity for any player.

“We were delighted with the new connections we made, and also online meetings with familiar friends from the school sport sector. In normal times, golf has continued to grow and thrive in schools and we believe the game’s life skills learning, its physical and mental benefits and the way it can be applied to the curriculum and School Games, all make it a brilliant offering today for any school.”

Recent progress was appreciated during the #SGSummit20. The Golf Foundation team was recognised by the Youth Sport Trust for our innovative work. Our charity finished in the ‘Top Three’ across all school sports for the National Governing Body Award in the School Games. Congratulations to winners England Athletics and to fellow nominees Chance to Shine (cricket).

Alison Oliver, CEO of the Youth Sport Trust, said: “We were delighted to host the first virtual School Games Summit last week, including the awards ceremony to celebrate our School Games award winners of 2020. The National Governing Body Award was sponsored by the Topodium Group. The Golf Foundation were recognised for demonstrating their commitment and dedication to supporting schools and young people throughout the global pandemic. Their agility to create new resources and content enabled thousands of children and young people to stay active.

“Two of the highlights were the successful #LockdownKnockdown challenges which captured the imagination of children and families across the country, and the introduction of cross curricular activities for schools to use. Thank you to the Golf Foundation for responding quickly and adapting their offer at a time when children and young people need physical activity and sport more than ever.”

Last year, the Golf Foundation’s work in more than 3,500 schools helped over 500,000 youngsters to try golf. More than 2,500 schools and community groups were visited by a PGA coach and 128,000 pupils received coaching from a PGA professional in their school (51,000 pupils played golf for their school).

The school to club ‘player pathway’ plays a vital role in the Golf Foundation’s ‘Start, Learn and Stay’ strategy to protect the future of golf.

The #SGSummit20 was a hit with delegates and included young volunteer hosts from our schools. Speakers included Ali Oliver, CEO Youth Sport Trust; Born Barikor, Founder, Our Parks (see #FitForFree); Mike Diaper, Executive Director, Sport England and Geoff Barton, General Secretary, Association of School and College Leaders.

See more on our golf in schools here.

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