Date: September 26, 2018
Author: Shaun Hickman

GA secondary program gets students golfing

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The Golf Australia Secondary School Program has had a big impact getting traditionally inactive students golfing for the first time.

This past term 400 students from Year 7 and Year 8 at St Francis Xavier College in Officer, Victoria, were introduced to golf through Sport Australia’s Sporting Schools program.

Darren Thomas, sport co-ordinator at St Francis Xavier, was delighted at the way his students took to the new experience.

“The feedback from the students about the program was extremely positive,” Thomas said.

“Being a new activity for most, they enjoyed the chance to learn from an experienced coach and use the modified equipment that promoted success.

“By the end of each session, most students had experienced the rush of hitting the ball in the air or into the putting target which, as a teacher, is all you can ask."

Delivered by PGA Professional, Ed Nicolette, from Berwick Montuna Golf Club, the program introduced the students to the basics of the golf swing and a range of chipping, putting and full-swing challenges, which captured the inactive students in the group.

The recently launched Golf Australia Secondary School Program, a joint venture with the PGA of Australia, aims to get traditionally inactive students into playing golf through a variety of appealing activities and delivery methods.

Thomas could certainly see the impact this had on his students.

“From a teacher's perspective, it was great to have a program run that promoted student participation and appealed to a wide variety of students,” he said.

“Everyone was on an even playing field when it came to playing the games as golf is an individual sport that is inclusive for all.”

Thomas said Sporting Schools funding had helped his school deliver a range of sports his students hadn’t previously tried – and that golf had been a standout.

“Our golf program was fantastic, it was great to get access to a highly skilled coach from the local golf club, who interacted well with the students and ran a session that was enjoyed by the whole group.”