November 2018

SAGDB juniors tackle the obstacle course.

Building the nation Stroke by Stroke

FTG partners with the South African Golf Development Board to inspire their youth

For almost 20 years the SAGDB has successfully been driving its purpose of ‘making golf accessible to all South Africans by providing and facilitating practice and playing opportunities for learners from all underprivileged communities’.

Recently the board approached Free To Grow to assist them in deepening their touch on the youth through a personal development programme. This followed from a successful partnership with the Non-Profit Organisation in 2011, when the SAGDB’s leaders and coaches attended Free Grow’s 4C Leadership Development programme.

To reflect the context of SAGDB and fit the age group, Free To Grow developed a two-day programme, Golf 4 Life, that embraces the principles of active learning and employs fun as a medium to teach. The pilot kicked off in September at the High Africa Adventure Campsite along the banks of the Breede River.

This was the perfect setting to engage and inspire 35 energetic teenage boys.

Day one began with an exploration of the topic ‘Winning in Life’, challenging the learners’ perceptions of success, exploring the value of goal setting and the steps needed to realise them. The fundamentals of self esteem were introduced with a braai competition and rap songs, steering the teenagers to grow healthy views of their personal looks, intelligence, personalities and skills.

The importance of attitude, and specifically ownership, optimism, resilience and gratitude were on the agenda for day two. What better way than enticing the youngsters with obstacle courses, which provided the perfect scenarios for experiential learning to take place.

When asked what message the learners would take away with them, 18-year-old Aidon Willemse
shared that going forward, he wants to “make use of u”! This beautifully illustrates the sense of personal ownership Golf 4 Life aims to instil.

The feedback was remarkable, with 86% of the boys indicating that they felt “very motivated” by the programme to work on their attitude to help them win in life.

Following the success of the pilot group, another three workshops have been scheduled to roll out
across the country in 2019. With continued funding, the SAGDB intends to launch a second phase of the programme focused on developing interpersonal skills. With every stroke of investment in the youngsters of today, the SAGDB gets closer to realising their vision of ‘Growing the game. Building the nation’.

Messages from the learners:

“You open so many doors for me and you build me up.”

“Some of us do not have the willingness to talk to our parents and I had the chance to talk and share.”

“Julle doen ‘n goeie werk. Al lyk dit nie nou dat dit ‘n verskil maak nie, maar julle het nou ‘n groot rol kom speel in ons lewens.”