The School of Golf in the Community.
The community is extremely important to The School of Golf and one of the most fulfilling partnerships we have is with The English Learning Disability Sports Alliance.
The English Learning Disability Sports Alliance, a partnership between Special Olympics GB and MENCAP worked with The School of Golf to host ‘Discover Golf’ at Little Channels.
“When a rather shy and nervous group from City of Chelmsford Mencap arrived at Little Channels Golf for their first golf session they did not quite know what to expect! However, the coaches, Jack Cole and Matthew Mahoney, were immediately welcoming and quickly put them at their ease.
They took time to develop a professional relationship with our members and to understand their needs. They prepared well planned sessions with time for Mencap members to develop individual skills, to try new challenges and to have fun.
Since the start of the ‘Discover Golf’ Programme, England Golf have used this set-up as a case study and blue print in order for similar programmes to be delivered across the country.
During these sessions we have seen our members develop in many ways, Their golf skills developed amazingly, at the beginning most of them had never held a golf club before and certainly not been on a putting range or golf course but by the end of the sessions they were confidently putting, chipping and hitting the ball fair distances in a fairly controlled manner.
Improving Their Confidence
Their self-confidence developed as they realised their own abilities were improving. They also developed their listening skills as they realised they needed to pay attention to what they were being asked to do. They developed their communication skills and relationships; some of the group have very limited speech but we saw this gradually develop as they became more confident and were better able to interact with a range of people. They developed their ability to take turns; to be disciplined in when and where to hit the golf ball and to be more aware of others.
The Golf Coaches
The coaches and other golf club members were always very welcoming, kind, professional and encouraging to the Mencap group. Playing ‘proper golf’ with members of Little Channels gave the Mencap group the opportunity to extend and show off their newly acquired skills, to meet new people and to develop their communication skills.
The Golf Sessions
These golf sessions conducted by Jack and Matthew have given many of our members at Mencap a new interest. It was good for them to be exercising in the fresh air and to meet new people. They certainly looked forward to the weekly sessions and we would very much like this group to further develop their new skills. We would also very much like to be able to extend this opportunity to other City of Chelmsford Mencap members – we have an enthusiastic waiting list!
The moment Annabel had a ‘hole in one’ on the putting green was completely magical and everyone was delighted with her achievement. And as Annabel said, “Golf is excellent, brilliant and I will play again next year!”
Alison Widgery, President of the City of Chelmsford Mencap