The Crystal Palace Foundation hosted an event with a twist this week, as eight teams of boys and girls took part in a game of ‘StreetGolf’ at Selhurst Park.
As part of the Premier League 4 Sport programme, the Foundation teamed up with the Golf Foundation to create a special 9-hole golf course inside the club’s stadium, with the event designed to promote golf as a sport to young people from the local and wider community.
Mark Bright, a big golf fan, was on hand to lead the way as the teams were given a ‘free pass’ to hit shots down the players’ tunnel, chip into the dugout, shoot into the goal, drive from the stand onto the pitch, and putt in the dressing room!
Handing out goodie bags and posing for photographs at the end of the event, Bright said it’s all about giving young people a positive experience of being active outdoors, and taking part in a new sport.
“StreetGolf is one of those sports that you don’t have to be good at, you just need to give it a go and you’ll get better if you keep trying. It’s about getting kids engaged and we need to help encourage young people to get out of the house and do something active which they enjoy. If we get two or three from today who go home and say to their mum and dad “I want to give golf a go” then we’ve done a good job.”
PE teacher Anne Marie Abalo, who was attending with a group of SEN children from Bensham Manor School in Thornton Heath, said the day had been a resounding success for her class.
“StreetGolf is something completely new, the kids are learning a new skill set and they’re having to adjust as they go along. It’s been a big learning curve and also a lot of fun. We’ve had four lessons where coaches have come in to the school and the children have turned up for every one of them ready to go which means they’re enjoying it.
The eight teams attending the day had been selected from HSBC Golf Roots projects in the area (and an invited team from Southampton FC) which are all linked to golf venues and PGA professional coaches. They included young people from two schools which cater for boys and girls with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and a team from one of these, Sunnydown School, was the winner on the day.
Roxanne Bennett, Sports Development Officer at CPFC Foundation, said: “Today was a fantastic event. We were able to bring golf to a Premier League football stadium to provide a truly unique experience for young people in our programmes and we’ve had really positive feedback from the teams involved.”
For more information on CPFC Foundation events, please contact Roxanne Bennett, Sports Development Officer: RoxanneBennett@cpfcfoundation.org