Golf In Schools graduates to high school
Published on Thursday, May. 09, 2013 12:01PM EDT Last updated on Tuesday, Oct. 09, 2012 08:54PM EDT
Thousands of Canadian high school students in grades 9-12 will now have the opportunity to be introduced to the game of golf as part of their high school physical education curriculum with the launch of the Golf in Schools High School Program presented by Callaway.
Created by Physical Health and Education Canada (PHE Canada) in partnership with Golf Canada and the PGA of Canada, the Golf in Schools High School Program will help physical education teachers to 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 lifelong recreation and physical fitness activity.
The introduction of the high school program builds on the success of the Golf in Schools Elementary School Program which is currently in close to 1,800 schools since the program launched in 2009. With 4,600 high schools and nearly 10,000 elementary schools across Canada, the program has the opportunity to introduce the sport of golf to nearly 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.”
The program was test-piloted at 11 high schools across Canada in 2012. To date, 40 high schools have already registered for the program with approximately 235 additional 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.”
Schools that sign-on to participate in the Golf in Schools program will receive student-friendly, high school appropriate golf equipment provided by Callaway as well as golf-related curriculum and instructor training to enable teachers to integrate golf into their high school physical education curriculum.
For presenting sponsor Callaway Golf Canada, the expansion of the Golf in Schools program into high schools further reinforces the company’s longstanding commitment to give back to the game at the grassroots level.
“We have been excited about the Golf in Schools program since its inception because we believe the program is a critical ‘grow the game’ initiative,” said Callaway Golf Canada’s Managing Director Scott Reid. “The elementary school program is gaining traction across the country and the natural next step was to invest in this important program and bring it to the high school level. Golf in Schools and support for the program within the Canadian golf industry is growing and we are thrilled to be a part of its success.”
The expansion of the Golf in Schools program to the high school level presents an important opportunity to bridge the gap between introductory golf programming in schools and more specified instructional programming at the golf clubs facilitated by PGA of Canada professionals.
“It’s all about increasing access to the golf facility for young people,” said Gary Bernard, CEO of the PGA of Canada. “Once students have been introduced to the basics of the sport at the high school and elementary school level, the next step is to bridge the gap with a PGA of Canada Professional at a golf facility in his or her community. The students that are exposed to golf through the school system represent a huge cluster of potential enthusiasts to get started down the pathway to a life in the game.”
High schools interested in participating will be charged a fee of $595 for the complete Golf in Schools program package which includes the learning resource and high school appropriate golf equipment. Schools interested in only receiving the program learning resource will pay $25.
Similar to the elementary school program, the Golf in Schools High School Program also offers an “Adopt a School” option whereby individuals, golf courses and/or 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.
Canadian high schools 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.
(This following article on the success of the initial Golf in Schools Program by Stephanie Edwards first appeared in the September 2012 edition of Golf Canada Magazine)
We all remember Phys-Ed class; it was everyone’s second-favourite class, just behind recess. Kids love nothing more than a whole hour devoted to basketball, soccer, dodge ball… and golf.
Traditionally, golf has not been a sport introduced to kids in school, but since 2009, Golf Canada has tried to change that. Working in partnership with Physical Health and Education Canada and Provincial Golf Associations, the Golf In Schools Program aims to introduce every child in Canada to the game of Golf. Now, after finding success in over 1,750 elementary schools, the program is expanding into high schools.
Presented by the CN Future Links Program and Callaway Golf, the program has so far been wildly successful for junior students (grades 1-6), aiming to prove to students and teachers that golf is just as fun and just as challenging as any other phys-ed sport like basketball or soccer.
The Golf in Schools teaching kit offers child-friendly equipment for students, and assists teachers in planning valuable learning experiences that use golf as a means to develop greater physical literacy.
"It’s critical that all young people are given the chance to pick up a set of clubs," says Jeff Thompson, Chief Sport Development Officer at Golf Canada. Thompson is concerned that if kids aren’t exposed to golf at a young age, “there is no chance that they will take the sport up later in life. Getting golf front and center with them is important, particularly with girls, so that they develop a comfort level and it relieves the intimidation factor.”
The high school program’s goal is essentially the same as the junior program: increase student’s knowledge and appreciation of the sport. Teens from grade 9-12 will have the opportunity to learn the sport in a friendly environment in which they feel comfortable with their peers. Lessons are slightly longer than the original junior program, and rather than using the child-safe foam balls and plastic clubs, high school students learn using full sized clubs and modified golf balls.
Since June, over 30 high schools have already signed up and Golf Canada hopes to have 75 schools by the end of October. Jeff Thompson hopes the program will continue to grow. “Both programs deliver the learning outcomes required by boards of education across Canada, so now a teacher can use golf instead of basketball or soccer to meet their needs within PE classes”, he says. The curriculum provided by Golf in Schools is progressive and is easily altered to meet the skill set of every class and age group. The one-of-a-kind course gives every student an equal chance at learning about a sport they may have otherwise never tried.
Golf is a lifelong pursuit and the program hopes to spark a passion earlier in a player’s life. “I believe that the high school program creates a lot of opportunities for the golf community”, Thompson says. “The program is a great conduit to form the bridge from getting kids from the school to the golf course.” The Golf in Schools Program ensures that a young person’s first experience with golf is a great experience with golf.