This teenager with learning difficulties has gained key life skills from being taught golf
A sports development professional has said teenagers with learning difficulties are gaining key life skills via a programme that teaches them golf.
Several youngsters with learning difficulties have been taught golf at Essex clubs in recent weeks as part of a lottery funded project. Sessions consist of fun-based games on driving ranges and putting greens, in bunkers and eventually out on the course.
As well as improving their ability to hit golf balls, tutors have said the teenagers have developed teamwork, communication and co-ordination skills, and have even seen performance improvements when it comes to maths and English.
Sue Wells, an ‘Active College Maker’ with Sport England, who organised a lottery funded project with the Essex Golf Partnership and the Coastal Golf Academy, said: “It was brilliant to see the students get a chance to try something new in golf.
“Their tutors have been able to transfer the students’ enthusiasm to the classroom, for example by referring to score card in maths and encouraging them to write about what they’ve been doing in English.”
The students were part of a Pathway group tutored by Karl Delaine. He commented: “It was wonderful to see the group participating in a sport that they wouldn’t ordinarily have the opportunity to try. Each learner developed a range of different skills and accomplished much over the six week course.
“They are greatly looking forward to the new sessions and hopefully the group will be able to build on their newly acquired skills.”
Wells’ comments come as a project to teach golf to teenagers with learning difficulties, which started with one group of 18 teenagers at the Colchester Institute’s Clacton campus, has led to other groups taking part.
A satellite club has even been set up to offer weekly sessions for those who want to go on playing the game.
Golf professional Tom Hide and his colleagues at the Coastal Golf Academy have been coaching the first group at Millers Barn and Frinton golf clubs. He said: “It’s been so rewarding to bring people into the sport and to see them enjoy it.”
Tom is now running the satellite club while fellow PGA professionals at Playgolf Colchester are teaching other groups from the Colchester campus.