In his role as The R&A’s ‘Working for Golf Ambassador’, two-time Open Champion Padraig Harrington has been highlighting The R&A’s support of the Golf Foundation’s ‘Golf Roots’ programme, which makes golf more accessible to children from all backgrounds and abilities.
Padraig gave a unique golf clinic at Sunningdale Golf Club in Berkshire on Tuesday, involving children from two schools in the Bracknell Forest School Sport Partnership. While the Irishman gave some swing tips and talked through some of the shots which helped him win The Open, he in turn learnt about Golf Roots, the major Golf Foundation programme which takes golf into schools and the community and then links these youngsters to local golf facilities.
Harrington was present at Sunningdale using his position in the global game to promote the work of the St Andrews-based governing body. The R&A is a strong supporter of junior golf all over the world and is the largest financial contributor of all to Golf Roots, which aims to reach one million youngsters a year by 2013.
“We all really enjoyed the clinic today,” said Harrington. “The Golf Roots programme is an exciting initiative to get more youngsters playing the game, to which The R&A is fully committed.
“The R&A have played a significant role in my career, from playing in boys and amateur events through to winning The Open Championship, and I appreciate all the support they have shown along the way. I am delighted that I now have the opportunity to assist them in their work.”
Harrington’s support for The R&A includes displaying The R&A Working for Golf logo on his clothing or equipment on Tour periodically during the season and coaching young people in R&A-funded golf development programmes. He will also appear in Rules of Golf multimedia productions, promote the etiquette of the game, take part in biomechanical equipment testing sessions and support the work of The R&A Foundation at events spread throughout his global playing schedule. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)
Mike Round, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “Padraig was fantastic with the youngsters today and we were thrilled that one of the greats of the game could engage with the children and help raise the profile of Golf Roots.
“Golf Roots is all about giving opportunity and encouragement and providing the ‘Skills for Life’ which help create rounded individuals, and Padraig is clearly the embodiment of all this thinking. The R&A is the leading financial supporter of Golf Roots, but clinics like this also demonstrate their imagination, desire and drive to grow the game in the right way.”
* To learn more about the Golf Foundation call 01992 449830 or see www.golf-foundation.org
* For media information on the Golf Foundation call Ben Evans on 01747 820384 or 07789 722853
Notes for editors
* A recent government survey* shows that of 450 School Sport Partnerships (SSPs), every one now has a school which offers golf, with the largest offering at a single SSP involving 71 schools. The Foundation enjoys formal links with 84% of SSPs and in total, 9,428 (44%) of schools in SSPs offered golf to youngsters in 2010.
* Figures from the Department for Education School Sport Survey 2009/10 carried out by TNS-BMRB on behalf of the Department for Education
* The Golf Foundation is a British Isles charity dedicated to bringing more young people into the sport.
* The Golf Foundation is committed to developing the sport at the junior level by supporting the implementation of national development plans and by working in partnership with the golfing bodies in England through the England Golf Partnership, in Wales through Golf Development Wales, and in Scotland through clubgolf.
* Each year more than 700,000 children across the British Isles benefit from the initiatives and resources available through the Golf Foundation.