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PHOTO BY GOLFFILEFollowing on from the successful staging of The 148th Open at Royal Portrush GC in July 2019, the Golfing Union of Ireland (Ulster Branch) and the Confederation of Golf in Ireland have been successful in obtaining funding to support twenty golf clubs across Northern Ireland to take part in The Open Legacy Community Golf Programme which will be rolled out in the early months of 2020.
The programme, which is made possible due to funding of £75,000 from the Department for Communities in NI through Sport NI, aims to drive an increase in golf participation and will offer a variety of opportunities to clubs.
Each participating Club will be supported to deliver five weeks of PGA Professional led golf activity in local primary schools during the months of February and March. Additionally, the twenty successful clubs will receive a significant amount of modified golf equipment which will allow golf activity to take place in non-traditional settings such as school halls and playgrounds.
Each Club will be tasked to target two primary schools in their area where initial golf activity will take place with costs covered by The Open Legacy fund. Each school will also be offered the opportunity for participating children to take part in a golf festival event involving other schools from their locality.
To follow on from the initial five week coaching programme it is envisaged that each Club will offer a 'taster session' in the club that will allow the children who have engaged in the school based golf activity the chance to try golf in a club environment and possibly get involved in beginner programmes and activities.
Rory Leonard, CGI Development Officer said: 'To assist with this activity volunteers from participating Clubs will be offered spaces on a CGI Leader's Workshop where they will enhance their ability to deliver quality experiences of golf.'
'Furthermore, once links have been established between the golf clubs and the schools, there will be the opportunity for golf activity to continue in the schools with the use of modified golf equipment still available.'
Kathryn Hill, Department for Communities said: "The Department is delighted to provide support to the CGI through The Open Legacy Community Golf Programme which offers a fantastic opportunity for golf clubs to promote and grow the sport within their local communities. With the support of all the partners involved, the £75,000 investment provided by the Department, will help to open up opportunities for children of all abilities to participate in golf within the school environment and progress into local clubs."
CGI will also be staging a number of community golf awareness days across NI in partnership with local authorities, voluntary organisations, universities and colleges which will target young people, women & girls and people with disabilities, giving them the opportunity to be introduced to golf and signposted to clubs in their area.
To express your clubs interest in being involved in The Open Legacy Community Golf Programme please complete the following application form by Friday 17th January 2020:
Timeline of Activities
Planning meetings between CGI and successful Clubs
Clubs confirm participating schools
Coaching sessions begin after Mid-Term Break
Five in-school coaching sessions completed
Leaders Workshops, Inclusive Golf Training Sessions and Festival Days