Golf In Schools Tees Up Game’s Growth
Wilson Golf Reed On The Greens, by Jeffrey Reed
As Published By London Community News, October 25, 2012
The game of golf is a sport for a lifetime – how many 50-year-old men or women strap on catcher’s gear or a football helmet? If you’re 50 years old and still digging balls out of the dirt or making tackles, then I salute you. At age 50, I’ll stick to making birdie putts, thank you.
Still, golf is my sport. I know, there are still jokes about golf not offering any type of workout, but that’s bologna. Those of you who walk 18 holes – about 8 km – in 30-degree heat, carrying or pushing a golf bag weighing 20 kg with clubs and swinging more than 100 times (hopefully including practice strokes) know that golf is most definitely a sport.
Now, through a win-win program, thousands of Canadian high school students, including London and area students in grades 9 through 12, have the opportunity to learn the game of golf as part of their high school physical education curriculum.
The recently-launched Golf in Schools High School Program, presented by Callaway Golf, is a creation of Physical Health and Education Canada (PHE Canada), in partnership with Golf Canada and the PGA of Canada. The program promise is to help physical education teachers plan and deliver quality learning experiences that support the enhancement of fundamental movement skills and develop sport-specific skills related to golf, in addition to increasing student knowledge and appreciation for the sport of golf.
In addition to providing the necessary resources (equipment, learning curriculum and training) that enable Canadian teachers to integrate golf into their physical education lesson plan, the Golf in Schools program will present golf to Canadian high school students as a life-long recreation and physical fitness activity.
Currently there are two London high schools enrolled in the program: Clarke Road Secondary School, and St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School. As the program grows, so will local participation. The newly-launched program’s sister group, Golf in Schools Elementary, involves a score of London schools and hundreds of local pupils who are learning about the game while participating in physical activities.
In total, the Golf in Schools Elementary School Program (est. 2009) includes 1,800 schools. But with 4,600 high schools and 10,000 elementary schools across Canada, the sister programs have the potential to reach 4.5 million students.
“The Canadian school system and the physical education curriculum is the single most concentrated opportunity to introduce children of all ages and backgrounds to the sport,” said Golf Canada CEO Scott Simmons. “The Golf in Schools program creates a vital link between the education and golf communities by building a sense of pride around the sport and developing teacher, student and parent appreciation of the positive values, attitudes, health benefits and life skills associated with our sport.”
To date, 40 high schools have registered for the program with approximately 235 additional schools, including London high schools, expected to sign on in the first year.
“The Golf in Schools program is a prime example of how the sport community can work with educators to introduce students to sports while teaching the skills and strategy that hone their physical literacy,” said Chris Jones, Acting Executive Director and CEO of PHE Canada. “The program is easy to use, connected to curriculum outcomes, and reflects the latest in pedagogy. The elementary program has had a tremendous response and we have been keen to work with Golf Canada on creating a high school resource.”
Participating schools receive golf gear from Callaway as well as golf-related curriculum and instructor training to enable teachers to integrate golf into their high school physical education curriculum.
Local participating high schools are charged a fee of $595 for the complete Golf in Schools program package, while schools only interested in receiving the program learning resources pay $25. And as with the elementary school program, the Golf in Schools High School Program offers an Adopt a School option. Individual donors, golf courses and businesses can cover the cost of equipment for a school of their choice and receive a tax receipt for the full amount of their donation.
Any London high school interested in signing up or finding out more about the Golf in Schools can visit the program website at www.nationalgolfinschools.com or call 1-800-263-0009 ext. 475.
About Wilson Staff
For nearly a century, Wilson Golf has designed, manufactured and distributed premium and recreational golf equipment throughout the world. Since 1914, Wilson Staff irons have won 61 Major championships, more than any other iron manufacturer in history. Wilson Staff’s Ci11 irons, Di11 irons and FYbrid RS hybrids were honored with Golf Digest’s Hot List awards in 2011 and 2012. Wilson Staff, Profile, ProStaff and Hope consumer brands offer excellent craftsmanship and tradition today by delivering the highest quality golf equipment to all golfers to enhance performance on the course and overall enjoyment of the game.
Wilson Golf is a division of Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sporting equipment by Amer Sports. Visit www.wilsonstaff.com or call 773.714.6400 for more information.