Suits kids to a tee


Weekend Courier - - Sport -

THE Kwinana Golf Club is en­joy­ing a boom in pop­u­lar­ity among young chil­dren in the area af­ter be­gin­ning its The First Tee pro­gram two years ago.

Since start­ing the ini­tia­tive – a US-based cur­ricu­lum that weighs life val­ues equally to golf­ing skills – Kwinana has wel­comed 238 golfers from as young as four to the course.

Kwinana is the only First Tee In­ter­na­tional cur­ricu­lum provider in Aus­tralia and runs a 10-week pro­gram dur­ing school terms at the cost of a gold-coin do­na­tion each week.

Tr­ish Glazbrook, who is tasked with co-or­di­nat­ing the chil­dren and coaches as The First Tee pro­gram man­ager, over­sees an eight-per­son team of coaches and of­fi­cials.

Glazbrook said about 55 chil­dren turn up each week, rain, hail or shine.

The ben­e­fits to Kwinana are al­ready ob­vi­ous, with the club field­ing a ju­nior girls pen­nants team for the first time ever this year, and there are plans to ex­pand in 2018.

“We’ve had 14 kids who have grad­u­ated to be­ing club mem­bers and play­ing pen­nants,” Glazbrook said.

The WA Golf Foun­da­tion has con­trib­uted $50,000 to help fund the ini­tia­tive, in ad­di­tion to com­mer­cial lo­cal sup­port from the likes of Kevin Ham­mer and his team at GF En­gi­neer­ing.

The money ini­tially helped to launch the pro­gram, which seeks to teach golf to chil­dren in con­junc­tion with nine core life prin­ci­ples – hon­esty, in­tegrity, sports­man­ship, re­spect, con­fi­dence, re­spon­si­bil­ity, per­se­ver­ance, cour­tesy and judg­ment.

“Those core val­ues are a cen­tral part of what we do,” she said.

“We fo­cus on one of those each week, but fun is an im­por­tant part too.”

Com­mu­nity sup­port re­mains crit­i­cal to the suc­cess of the pro­gram, with Kwinana on the look­out for spon­sors and vol­un­teers.

Kwinana First Tee pro­gram man­ager Tr­ish Glazbrook.

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