Golf junior programme in full swing |29 November 2022
In September this year, with the support of the Ministry of Education, the Seychelles Golf Federation launched its junior programme.
The objective of the programme is to change the mind-set of people in Seychelles towards the game, essentially opening it up to the community.
It also aims to keep children off the streets, giving them a new hobby and most importantly targeting new juniors for the club while discovering and developing new talents for the future of golf in Seychelles.
With two schools – namely International School Seychelles (ISS) and Anse Aux Pins primary – currently signed up, the junior programme clinics take place on Tuesday afternoons from 2pm to 4pm. Coaches for the programme are pro golfer William Weidner, as well as Yves Emond and with the assistance of Jerry Jean-Baptiste.
Transportation is provided by the federation to collect the students from their respective schools and bring them to the golf course in Au Cap, and then take them back after.
While currently the programme has both girls and boys participating, there are more girls which is a bonus as the programme also wanted to get more girls and women involved in this sport which is already predominantly male centric.
The feedback and response to this programme have been amazing so far, says Mr Weidner.
“Currently from the ISS we have 14 students and from AAP we have 34 – in fact we are maxed out for the AAP group, especially with our limited practice facilities in place, but frankly I can’t turn down the kids so we try as best to make it work so they gain as much as possible each Tuesday. We are currently in the process of getting more equipment which will help a lot, but the practice facilities unfortunately cannot be expanded currently at the Seychelles Golf Course as there is not enough land, so we have to work with what we have,” said Weidner.
One possible alternative says Weidner is branching the programme out into the schools themselves.
We will be looking into the possibility of expanding into the schools themselves. For example during physical education (PE) sessions we could bring specific golfing equipment that can be used and set up on football fields or courts, the clubs of course would be made of plastic rather than steel and tennis balls instead of golf balls. It’s not exactly the same, but it gives the children an insight into what golf is all about and if they wish to take it further they can contact the coaches at the clubs for proper sessions.
Mr Weidner also tells us that should there be an opportunity in future, he would definitely like to take this programme to Praslin as well, perhaps through a partnership with Lemuria for the use of its Golf Course.
“There is certainly the prospect of Lemuria to do the same, but as they are a resort course priority use is for their clients but hopefully in the new year they will be able to start something under the guidance of Gary Pouponneau and the SGF.
Text and photos contributed