The search is on for volunteer activators to inspire fellow students at university and college in England to get into golf.
They’ll join a new, national campaign to promote student golf, which was piloted with 12 universities during the last academic year – and proved to be an “incredible” success.
Activators who have already been involved include Charlotte Stanton of Birmingham University, Fiorella Badin of Kingston University, Surrey, and David Morris of Marjons and Plymouth Universities, Devon – and they have all won top awards for their work.
They’ve helped create booming interest in the sport among students and the project is set to roll out across the country.
It is part of the national Get into golf campaign and is run by the England Golf Partnership (EGP) with National Lottery funding from Sport England and the support of BUCS – British Universities and Colleges Sport. Phil Beard, the EGP’s Volunteer Manager, commented: “The initial success has been incredible and we expect to be working with 40 to 50 universities and colleges this year.
“Our immediate challenge is to recruit activators to encourage students who are new to the game and also keep established golfers playing the sport while they are at college.
“Becoming an activator is a great way to be involved in sport and to enhance your career skills,” added Phil.
The activators will work with their local County Golf Partnership, PGA professionals and members of the EGP Youth Panel to grow the game. They will receive training and be able to promote their activities with EGP Get into golf branded materials, specially designed for student golf.
Activities, usually communicated via Twitter and Facebook, have included taster sessions for beginners, night golf social events, golf days for established players, discounted golf offers at local clubs and BUCS events for the competitive.
Last year over 1400 students expressed an interest in golf at freshers’ fairs. The activators followed up during October and November by providing more than 1900 new golf sessions in the 12 universities. At the same time the project pumped over £30,000 pumped into local golf economies, thanks to students using driving ranges, taking coaching, playing courses and joining clubs.
To find out more about golf activator opportunities contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte Stanton, 20, has won two top volunteer awards for her efforts to encourage more people to play and stay in golf. She is the England Golf Partnership’s Young Volunteer of the Year and the winner of Birmingham University’s Student Leadership Award. The accolades recognise the time she has spent volunteering with two County Golf Partnerships in the Midlands; her contribution to the EGP’s National Youth Panel, which gives young people a voice in the future of golf; and her successful efforts as golf activator at her university to involve students in the game. “My aim is to make golf available to everyone,” said Charlotte, who is now the county development officer for the Middlesex Golf Partnership.
Fiorella Badin, 19, became a golf activator last year when she started studying law at Kingston University, Surrey. She found out about the role at a freshers’ fair and was quickly involved, running street golf events which have attracted around 500 students. “I enjoy the fact that I can help and encourage others to play golf, I can organise events and really have fun playing a sport that I enjoy very much, I meet all sorts of new people, I am responsible for the people and I have learned to organise and manage my time more effectively to get everything sorted on time.” Fiorella has won the university’s VIPs award: Volunteers Inspiring Young People via Sport.
Dave Morris, 22, recently completed his final year studies at MARJONS in Plymouth and was golf activator both there and at Plymouth University. He successfully got a group of beginners together every week for coaching and competitions. Dave has worked with the Devon Golf Partnership for over two years and played a key role in Plymouth Golf Roots, a project linking over 30 schools with four clubs in the Plymouth area, and which won a national Golf Foundation award. He also helps at community events, at the Devon Junior Academy and with golf coaching in schools. He received the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award at the Devon Sports Awards.