Saudi Golf Federation unveils ‘Get into Golf’ program in schools

©Arab News

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JEDDAH: The people at the helm of Saudi golf never seem to run out of ideas to grow and promote the game.

From staging high-profile events, chief of which is the European Tour-sanctioned Saudi International, to appointing golf ambassadors from the European Ladies Tour and sponsoring CNN show “Living Golf,” the Saudi Golf Federation (SGF) and Golf Saudi are working to put Saudi Arabia on the golf map.

For their latest initiative they are looking at the grassroots level, schools, to introduce the game.

Their new education and training program, “Get into Golf,” is to be launched by the SGF in partnership with Tadrees Holding, a leading company in the field of education.

Tadrees and Saudi Arabia’s golf governing body have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), confirming their desire to jointly roll out the program in partner schools throughout the country.

The program seeks to implement golf coaching strategies across the Tadrees’ schools network and enrich the lives of Saudi youths. The program will provide students with a sporting opportunity that is fun, engaging, and that instils in them lifelong social and athletic skills. The program will also establish an educational framework for physical education (PE) teachers within the Tadrees network to expand their knowledge base by providing them with additional skills and qualifications.

Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of the SGF, commented: “Our ultimate goal at the SGF is to grow the game of golf, so the maximum amount of people are aware (of it) and can experience the benefits and value of the game. Working closely with Tadrees Holding is essential to delivering the tiered program we strive for at Saudi Arabian schools.”

As part of the agreement, the SGF will appoint a representative to act as the coordinator overseeing the roll out, and to act as the liaison for communications between both entities.

The SGF will also loan SNAG (Starting New At Golf) coaching equipment to all schools within the Tadrees network, along with golf coaching education to PE teachers by way of its “Train the Trainer” program, which will see qualified professionals assigned to provide assistance to ensure best practice and successful implementation.

“Creating a strategic alliance with the SGF, a forward-thinking and visionary organization, is a natural progression in our continuation of developing a world-class and modern educational program within schools and higher education” said Walid Bahamdan, a board member of Tadrees Holding.

“Aligned with our vision, the skills and character development golf offers has a direct and indirect opportunity to support the Kingdom’s children and develop a culture of inclusion and excitement towards golf participation by providing children in our schools with golf uniforms, T-shirts, caps, giveaways and certificates of achievement.”

The SGF is also working with the Ministry of Education to support the development of new sports, skills, and careers in education. This will be delivered through a tiered, progressive program, delivered through PE teachers. by providing training, equipment, and frameworks to conduct the foundation levels of golf introduction.

Golf Saudi, a subsidiary of the SGF, has also embarked on its own mass participation and education pathway to meet its targets of creating 3,700 jobs by 2030, and to train up to 24,000 new golfers.

The alliance between both parties fully aligns with the SGF’s long-term vision. Both the SGF and Tadrees Holdings are committed to providing access to golf via multi-level developments and promote the game by creating interest and touch points throughout the Kingdom.

As part of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia endeavors to provide students at schools, and particularly in higher education, with a modern curriculum with key focus on character development, as well as literacy, numeracy, and other skills. The SGF’s educational program will integrate with existing Tadrees Holdings’ initiatives and both parties will strive to place golf on the sporting curriculum.

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