Rupert Park to host The First Tee programs
May 28, 2014
Morgan Gibbens (British Columbia Golf)
On Wednesday morning The First Tee launched its first golf clinic at Rupert Park Pitch and Putt with a group of children from the nearby Sir Matthew Begbie Elementary School.
Attendance for the official opening at Rupert Park included Park Board members, PGA Tour Canada Commissioner, Jeff Monday with PGA Canada players, a number of First Tee representatives and local media all out to take part in the event.
The First Tee of Greater Vancouver YMCA provides an affordable opportunity for youth to learn the fundamentals of golf and promotes the nine core values of the program: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment.
Jeff Shewfelt, a life-long golfer, has been on the board with the First Tee of Greater Vancouver since the beginning and has seen the benefits of the program in the community’s youth.
“Kids this age can be difficult to focus but you saw kids ages seven, eight, nine talking about judgment and decision making and you could see them helping each other. They’re learning a lot of core life values,” explained Shewfelt.
“They don’t even know they’re learning because they’re playing and they’re having fun. Hopefully in the end it teaches them to be better people.”
Now with Rupert Park signed on to host The First Tee programs, kids in the East Vancouver community have a new opportunity to learn to golf and the life skills that come with it.
The Vancouver Park Board in partnership with The First Tee saw Rupert Park as a favorable location, with great accessibility from all areas of the city, to help grow the program and increase use of the impeccably-manicured pitch and putt.
The space allows the children participating access to play and learn on all nine holes, but the size of the course is less intimidating to young, first time golfers.
“The biggest opportunity we have is here because what we’re doing with programming is we’re allowing them to use nine holes and have that sectioned off just for First Tee training,” explained Supervisor of Business Services for the Park Board, Joan Probert, who was instrumental in facilitating an agreement with Rupert Park and The First Tee.
“Instead of just having access to a couple of holes and doing small little clinic-type training they can actually use the nine holes and do a full functional training plus a game. We’re looking forward to a summer of having them do that and utilize the course in that way.”
For more information on The First Tee of Greater Vancouver or to get your kids involved visit the website here.