Heroes of grass roots junior golf: volunteers, PGA professionals, junior organisers, schoolteachers and local authority officers were honoured at Wentworth Club during the Golf Foundation President’s Awards on Wednesday (25th May).
Shaking hands with each of these award winners was the new President of the Golf Foundation, Colin Montgomerie, who was performing his first official duty for the leading golf charity. Colin supports the Foundation’s aim to make the game more accessible to children from all backgrounds through its ‘Golf Roots’ programme, and he commended the good work of all the award recipients.
Nine awards were presented in front of a packed audience in Wentworth Club’s magnificent Ballroom courtesy of Golf Foundation supporter The European Tour. This was on the eve of the BMW PGA Championship. It was noted that the vast majority of players taking part would have once benefited from a mentor’s support as a youngster themselves, demonstrating why committed people at the grass roots are crucial to all levels of the game.
Colin Montgomerie said later: “All European Tour players need a start as a youngster and we are all thankful to a friendly PGA professional, a kindly club member or one of the family who gave their time to encourage us to play. The award winners here today are great examples of this breed of people. Their efforts will help discover future Open Champions, Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup players, but also the many more young people who just love the game, and that’s a fantastic achievement.”
Charles Harrison, Chairman of the Golf Foundation, said: “This ceremony offers the opportunity to thank these tireless individuals and groups who are doing a great deal to change the golfing landscape. These are people the Golf Foundation relies on but never takes for granted. Their selfless work helps youngsters to learn not only the mechanics of the golf swing but also important life skills that can really help them in later life.”
The winners of the 2011 Awards are listed below:
THE SIR HENRY COTTON AWARD
Presented to an individual who has demonstrated meritorious service to junior golf for a sustained period. The winner of this award will receive a grant kindly provided by the Stanley Morrison Trust.
WINNER: Ina Murphy for the commitment she has made to the development of grass roots junior golf at Fulford Heath Golf Club and through the County Association.
THE GALLACHER AWARD
Presented to a volunteer who, as a direct result of his/her efforts, has made a significant impact in the development of grass roots junior golf.
WINNER: Gareth Hughes for the considerable amount of time and effort he has put into developing a wide range of opportunities at the Rhondda Golf Club.
THE SINCLAIR AWARD
Presented to a PGA Professional who, as a direct result of his/her efforts, has made a significant impact in the development of grass roots junior golf.
WINNER: Philip Pearson for his extensive work developing junior golf at Eaton Golf Club and through the activities of the Norfolk County Golf Partnership.
THE CRITCHLEY AWARD
Presented to a major partnership project that, through co-ordinated effort, has made a significant impact in the development of grass roots junior golf.
WINNER: The Plymouth City Project which reached a large number of children in the city and surrounding areas through the implementation of a well-structured delivery plan.
THE 'LADDIE' LUCAS AWARD
Presented to a local development project that has created access opportunities within a particular facility or locality.
WINNER: Rural Derbyshire School Sports Partnership and Ashbourne Golf Club for their collaborative working on a comprehensive school/club link programme.
THE BONALLACK AWARD
Presented to a school or school sport partnership that has established or developed a junior golf development project for its pupils.
WINNER: Bridlington School Sport Partnership and Flamborough Head Golf Club for a project that involved a large number of children through school-based and club-based activity.
THE BURROUGHS AWARD
Presented to an individual who as made particular progress in golf in the face of adversity or an organisation that has made efforts to create opportunities for those with special needs.
WINNER: Leicester Development Group for the efforts made to ensure an inclusive approach to disability work as part of the HSBC Golf Roots City Project.
THE GUS PAYNE AWARD
Presented to the Golf Club that donates the most amount of money in support of the Golf Foundation’s activities.
WINNER: Royal Worlington and Newmarket Golf Club for its generous contribution of £4,000 raised through voluntary donations made by the membership.
THE MACKENZIE AWARD
Presented to a project that demonstrated how golf can be used to promote positive life messages to children and young people.
WINNER: The Swingz Project through which The Golf Academy, Everton Football Club and Liverpool City Council worked together to offer golfing opportunities in a challenging environment.