A new sponsorship deal looks set to help more Plymouth schoolchildren get into the swing of golf.
Devon-based training provider Skills Group has donated £1,000 to Plymouth Junior Golf Academy. The money will go towards replacing old and tired equipment, buy ‘player of the week trophies’ and extend the Academy’s reach to local youngsters.
Founded in 2015 by professional golfer Sam Stephens, Plymouth Junior Golf Academy runs free taster sessions in schools across the city.
In the last two years ‘The School of Golf’ programme has offered after-school training to more than 5,000 youngsters across 26 primary schools in and around Plymouth.
Plymouth Junior Golf Academy also runs 12-week-long programmes at Plymouth Golf Centre where more than 100 young members attend to develop their skills with tips from PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) experts.
Sam said: “Our schools programme is the lifeblood of our Academy, 80 per cent of the children attending the Academy have come through this programme, the vast majority having never played golf before.”
“There have been so many success stories through the scheme but it is the children from deprived backgrounds who are now members of local golf clubs which we are most proud of.”
Welcoming the sponsorship by Skills Group, Sam added: “This money is very important to us. It has allowed us to update old and tired equipment, buy some nice items such as, player of the week trophies and just generally improve our offering to young people.
“Golf is a fantastic sport for children to play. As well as being outside in the fresh air and learning a new skill, golf has a unique standing amongst other sports with the skills-for-life it encourages. These include honesty, respect, cooperation, perseverance and teamwork. We promote these values and morals in every session we deliver at Plymouth Golf Centre.”
Plymouth professional golfer Scott Drummond is an ambassador for Skills Group and welcomed the sponsorship of Plymouth Junior Golf Academy.
He said: “I think it’s very important for children to get the opportunity to try all sports if possible. Golf is a great sport as you can play individually and also as part of a team. It is also good exercise and teaches you many skills.
“Golf has come along way in the last few years, it is now much more accessible, with easier access to golf courses and driving ranges. Giving children the opportunity to get into the sport through school is a great way to get the game out there to more youngsters and is a fun environment as they are with their peers.
“Skills Group’s support of Plymouth Junior Academy is a really positive action that will hopefully enable the academy to reach more local children and support them with better equipment in the years to come.”
Mark Boulting, managing director of Skills Group, said: “We are delighted to support the provision of golf for local youngsters. Providing children with direct access to sports that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to try is a great way of broadening their life experiences.”