By Sports Reporter/Doha
Qatar International Golf Club (QIGC), Doha’s new golf facility, has introduced the game of golf to 2,000 pupils in the first year of its Pearl Coaching Programme. The initiative, which aims to get more young people playing golf, launched in October 2015 and has run in four schools across Qatar so far. A further four schools are ready to take up the programme in the next academic year as QIGC aims to get golf clubs into the hands of 10,000 young people in Qatar.
As many as 2,000 children have now completed either a six-week academic unit in SNAG (Starting New at Golf) or participated in after-school activity, with even more schools and students introduced to taster sessions.
To mark the success of the programme, QIGC has awarded participating schools for helping to grow the game of golf amongst students. Members of the QIGC team visited schools to present them with a commemorative plaque and flag, personalised with a thank you message and signed by course architect and two-time US Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal.
QIGC’s Rhys Beecher, who leads the programme, said: “The Pearl Coaching Programme has been a huge success since its inception last year and we surpassed all expectations in terms of the number of schools and pupils we expected to get involved. This success belongs to the schools who have embraced the game and committed to introducing a new activity to their students. The Growing the Game award is our way of recognising the commitment made by each of our partner schools and we look forward to issuing more of these awards as the programme continues to gather pace.
“We believe golf is a fantastic way to stay fit and healthy and learn about true sportsmanship, and it’s amazing to see so many pupils enjoying it.”
The schools that have been rewarded for their commitment to the programme this year include Qatar Academy Secondary, Qatar Academy Primary, Qatar Academy Sidra, and Al Markhyia Independent School for Girls.
Chris Wade, lead teacher of Physical Education Qatar Academy Doha, added: “In implementing the SNAG golf programme into our Qatar Academy Doha’s middle school curriculum, we are taking unprecedented steps in developing golf in Qatar and the region. We truly believe that the Pearl Coaching Programme will grow the game and help us to foster a love for golf at Qatar Academy Doha.”
In line with QIGC’s vision to introduce the game of golf further into the local community, the Pearl Coaching Programme has been designed to enable a long term development of golf within Qatar. With a total of five levels, students complete two levels of the programme at school. Those who wish to continue to Level 3 will then be welcomed to continue their development at Qatar International Golf Club and can work their way through to the final level, Elite Development. Through having a clear pathway and defined structure for progression, the programme expects to see more and more children each year making the transition from the early coaching in schools to full-sized equipment and elite coaching at QIGC.
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