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Junior golf inclusion day in Manchester
July 27, 2011

Over 70 children with disabilities and special needs from Greater Manchester took part in The First Tee's Inclusion Fun Day at Heaton Park Golf Course in Manchester on Monday 20th June 2011.

The festival brought children with disabilities together to have fun, and for some, experience golf for the first time. The teams of 10 made their way around nine activities which were all designed around the nine core values highlighted by the First Tee, including honesty, respect and confidence. Specially trained junior leaders, all youth with special needs, from Abraham Moss School were also on hand to guide our younger participants through the activities.

The event was organised by the Empowering Youth Foundation's 'The First Tee of Manchester' programme and the Manchester School's Sports Partnership. Manchester's Lord Mayor, Harold Lyons and other local dignitaries enjoyed watching the children's' activities and even tried their hand at golf. The event was also attended by Melanie Flude, English Golf Union's North West Regional Development Officer and Andy Leigh of the Golf Foundation. Funding for the event was through a grant given to the Empowering Youth Foundation by the Gerald Micklem Charitable Trust. The First Tee corporate supporters Mack Golf and Santander provided volunteers to help out on the day.

Youth aged 7+ of all abilities can take part in The First Tees Life Skills Experience which is a progressive golf skills and life skills programme based on nine core values inherent to the game of golf including honesty, integrity, sportsmanship and confidence. Participants learn a variety of life skills including self-management, interpersonal communication and conflict resolution in a fun, non-competitive environment.

The Lord Mayor said: "I was thrilled to be invited down to this event, I have been involved with a number of events at Heaton Park from my time spent as the Higher Blackley councilor, and I look

forward to attending future events that are helping local youth to learn new skills in a fun environment. It was great seeing how The First Tee programme has been adapted so that youth of any ability could enjoy the game and learn the life skills."

Commented Dawn Roberts, Executive Director of The First Tee of Manchester: "Our first inclusion day went really well; the turnout was great and the participants had a really enjoyable day. This will definitely be an annual event! Seeing so many children learning new skills and having fun at the same time - and on such a glorious day -shows that everyone can enjoy golf!"

Following on from the success of this day and the great feedback the event received, The First Tee Manchester will be holding summer classes for children with disabilities and special needs. Two sessions will run every Tuesday during the summer holidays; 26 th July - 30 th August. The sessions will be held at 10-11am and 11-12pm with a limited number of spaces available. Each one hour session costs £2 each or £10 if all six lessons are paid in advance. The special courses will be taught by Craig Thomas a PGA professional who has spent the last year focusing on developing disability golf and has also taken an active interest in the development of disability sport on the whole along with participating in Disability Sport Forums which look to develop sporting opportunities at a local level.

To sign up for the sessions and to get more information about The First Tee programmes and facilities you can contact Molly Whelan on 01978 345222 or email molly@empoweringyouthfoundation.org.uk








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