Developing talent for the future

THE Durham County Golf Partnership (CGP) has created the post of county development officer and appointed Jonathan Ward, the former head of golf development at the North East Sports Academy (NESA) at Tyne Metropolitan College, Wallsend.

THE Durham County Golf Partnership (CGP) has created the post of county development officer and appointed Jonathan Ward, the former head of golf development at the North East Sports Academy (NESA) at Tyne Metropolitan College, Wallsend.

The CGP is a joint venture between the Durham County Golf Union (DCGU), the Durham Ladies County Golf Association (DLCGA), representatives from the North East/North West PGA, Golf Foundation; the English Golf Union (EGU) and English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) supported by County Durham Sport, Tees Valley Sport and Tyne and Wear Sport.

In February 2009 the Durham Golf Partnership was awarded £24,500 to develop golfing opportunities in County Durham in line with the County Development Plan.

One of Jonathan’s main tasks will be assisting Jason Budd, the EGU regional development officer for the North East, to focus on and oversee the GolfMark Award project.

This national scheme identifies and recognises junior and beginner friendly golf facilities. And as part of the EGU/EWGA GolfMark Award, once a golf club is awarded, they will be recognised by Sport England as a Clubmark facility. Golf clubs benefit in a number of ways from a GolfMark award.

Firstly, they receive recognition within the local community for the club’s commitment to junior golf and they receive promotion via the EGU/EWGA websites.

Secondly, Jonathan and Jason provide assistance in the preparation of focused plans for the development of junior sections and opportunities to review and improve policies and procedures.

With golf clubs providing a safer and more enjoyable environment for junior golf to flourish, this should result in well coached, committed and educated juniors, who may become adult members of the future.

Sport England’s Clubmark is a cross-sport accreditation for sports clubs with junior sections in recognition of a quality club. Once they have the award and are recognised as a Clubmark facility, it shows that they are junior friendly, have a good structure in place and are then able to access external funding to assist with junior development.

As part of his brief, Jonathan will also be overseeing the new County Junior Coaching Academies with training taking place at a number of locations throughout County Durham.

This training plan is predominantly delivered at accredited ‘County Training Academies’ by handpicked coaches who are best suited and positioned to coach young people and have shown a long-term commitment to developing talented players.

These academies are based at GolfMark or RangeMark accredited golf facilities, short courses or driving ranges which ensure a safe and welcoming environment for juniors and minimum operating standard in child protection.

For further information please contact Jonathan at jonathan.k.ward@hotmail.co.uk or mobile 07909 923 641.

 
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