Suits kids to a tee
GOLF CONNECTS WITH YOUTH
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.