Alyangula Golf Club's MYGolf participants in action - the first in the Northern Territory. Photo: Supplied
Since its inception in November 2010, the MYGolf program has seen more and more juniors all over Australia become involved in the game of golf. Currently there are approximately 380 registered MYGolf Centres delivering the program to almost 4,000 children in both metro and regional areas proving that golf is truly a game for all.
One of the more remote MYGolf Centres is Alyangula Golf Club. Located on Groote Eylandt, an island sitting approximately 60 kilometres south east of Darwin, Alyangula’s MYGolf program contains the first registered participants from the Northern Territory.
Despite their recent success, the club’s junior golf program happened purely by accident. Centre Coordinator, Connie Kaipara, said it wasn’t until a Kids Event Day at their club attracted more than 46 children in late June did they really consider developing a program.
“It was clear that we have some talented youngsters and the inspiration to help these kids progressed from this event,” Kaipara said.
The response to this event teamed with the success of clinics run by Nathan Campfield from Drummond Golf led to a need for more equipment suitable for junior golfers to be available. The club decided to apply for a MYGolf Equipment Grant and from this became registered as an accredited MYGolf Centre.
The inaugural MYGolf session, held on Saturday 18th August, saw 24 children turn up to their first golf lesson and with the generous support of volunteers and parents, it was extremely successful.
“The children were excited and willing to learn and by the end of the morning a number of them had learnt how to hold the club, to keep their eye on the ball and to be four metres away from other children when swinging their club,” Kaipara said.
Through donations and sponsorships from WorkPac Industrial and ESS-Gebie, two major contracting companies on Eylandt, Alyangula is able to provide gifts for the kids as well as food and drink after each session.
It is not just the children who are benefiting from the program either, with parents and volunteers offered the chance to further their knowledge by attending a Community Golf Leader coaching course run by Sharon Hartley from Golf NT next month.
“The parents and volunteers are confident this program will be a success and even our parents are finding the lessons helpful in their own game,” Kaipara said.
Golf Australia’s Golf Development Manager Cameron Wade said the Alyangula program was a great example of local communities working together for junior golf.
“Alyangula have had a great impact on kids and golf in their local community. Teaching and coordinating junior golf does rely on the passion of parents, coaches and volunteers and it’s great to see the sport making real progress in regional communities.”
For more information on the program, or to register your club as a MYGolf Centre, visit www.mygolf.org.au