Innovative New Golf Program For Kids
by Scott A. Sumner
When Calloway and the Golf Association Of Ontario made announcements about their innovative new program to introduce public school children to golf the City Of Thunder Bay were quick to jump on board. “ Pat Berezowski, our new Golf Clubhouse supervisor did a good job on tracking it down this winter getting the schools involved. We are one of the first groups in the province to get involved. The goal of the program is to introduce golf to kids from primary up to grade 8. It is a four stage project and we feel if we get them early enough maybe they will develop an interest in the game and enjoy the sport. Even if they just get introduced to it sometimes they will come back later in life,” said Tom Forsythe, Director Of Golf Thunder Bay. “ It is good to get the kids away from the computers particularly in the summer time. Today we had grade 4- 9 year olds and younger going through the program. The older grades will get into stick golf. With good weather we hope to get them outside as most of the schools have a pretty good play area.”
“ Calloway is providing a lot of equipment which is great. We will get more involved in the fall and introduce the grades 7 and 8 then. We hope to introduce golf when they enter the school system. With the younger kids it is about having fun. They all will get a Calloway temporary tattoo they can take home.” smiled Forsythe.
“ The kids loved it and I can see their skills getting better. They are excited about having the equipment in the school and tend to be a great group.” said Mrs. Evans, the class teacher.
“ There are 100 schools participating so far and about 4000 elementary schools across Ontario in total. Currently 4 schools in Thunder Bay are enrolled in the program the organizers are hoping to be in all Thunder Bay schools shortly. Pat Berezowski is our lead up here
to spread the word to the principals about golfinschools. Golf pros aren’t used to being teachers so we train them in that area. It needs to have local support to grow. We have seen so many communities blossom. I think it is one of the best programs out there for any
sport,” said Mike Kelly, Manager of Player Development for the Golf Association of Ontario. “ This is grass roots with total inclusion even with a mental or physical delay. The children will always think about golf in a kind light and perhaps something they want to play. If they
don’t take it up til their adult life that is fine. It is a great game they can play for a lifetime.I truly believe if you start with something fun it will grow. It keeps them active.”