England and Wales (North) Region
11 Sep 14
Golf went through the roof at Birkdale Primary School during part of a Blue Peter nationwide scheme to widen children’s participation in sport and inspire their friends to try them out.
The venture was unique because when the school ran out of play space a roof system was designed to allow the pupils to operate from there.
And on the agenda was a chance to try golf thanks to Southport Golf Academy’s Richard Carpenter, a member of England Golf Sponsorship and Marketing Committee, and PGA professional Matt Chilman.
The children received chipping and putting challenges to give them a taste of the sport and the exercise ran alongside a para-Olympic medallist running, and taekwondo in addition to rock climbing, netball, football and cycling.
All the pupils received Blue Peter badges along with head teacher Nick Sheeran for his work on the project.
He said: “It is important to make children realise that there are many options open to them. Not all are natural athletes but this type of activity shows that somewhere there is a sport for them.”
Matt Chilman and Blue Peter's Barney Harwood
Thanks to presenter Barney Harwood and the Blue Peter team all the activities will be shown on CBBC to hopefully inspire other schools all over the country.
The school has already asked Southport Golf Academy to provide further sessions to show children the benefits of the sport and provide a pathway to take up the game. This is likely to be a project involving other schools in the area, too.
Bev Dodd, the Lancashire County Golf Partnership development officer, said: "We welcome this project to get more youngsters into the sport.
We are committed to delivering a number of initiatives designed to attract more people into the game and encourage existing golfers to play more regularly.”
She is familiar with grassroots golf, having helped to set up and deliver a number of junior academies at Rossendale Golf Club which has seen junior membership grow into a thriving section.
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