Golf successfully used again to tackle antisocial behaviour

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 12, 2016 13:09

Another community golf project has led to a massive decrease in antisocial behaviour.

Just a few weeks after a partnership between Shropshire GC and a local school in a deprived area delivered more than £500,000 of benefits for children and significantly reduced truancy, a project that taught ‘StreetGolf’ to youngsters in Wales has had similar results.

Golf Development Wales, funded by HSBC Golf Roots Plus, has been delivering free coaching to people aged 14 to 19 as part of the Cardiff City’s PL Kicks project, which was extended to include golf in 2014, when it teamed up with Valleys Golf Enterprise, a social enterprise that delivers golf coaching in local communities.

“The scheme has had a significant impact on improving community relationships between young people and the local PCSOs supporting the project,” said a spokesman for Golf Development Wales.

“Reported instances of antisocial behaviour decreased by 60 percent while the sessions were taking place in the Caerphilly borough.

“The project targeted youngsters from socially deprived areas and combined the skills involved in golf and football.

“The programme began with PGA coaches delivering StreetGolf sessions on Thursday evenings at Virginia Park Golf Club and were followed up by football coaching at Caerphilly Leisure Centre led by Cardiff City Community Foundation coaches. The sessions were frequently attended by 16 young people and coaches reported that ‘behaviour improved dramatically’ during the programme. In early 2015, the activity was extended to a group of youngsters from Rhondda.”

Crucial to the success of the project was that it gave youngsters access to sports activity in evenings when there was little else on offer, added the spokesman.

Feedback suggested participants enjoyed the ‘fun of learning new sports’ and the opportunity to compete against both football and golf coaches. Regular participants were trained as youth volunteers. They were also rewarded with an invitation to take part in a ‘PL Kicks’ football tournament at the House of Sport in Cardiff every ten weeks. This partnership helped to create the first ‘StreetGolf Event’ in Wales at Cardiff City FC’s stadium in 2015, attended by 52 youngsters from across the country.

As well as having a positive social impact, Virginia Park encouraged youngsters to stay playing golf by offering reduced membership fees and discounted rates which has led to four young people involved in the project joining the golf club.

“This gave the youths something to do in the evening and made a huge difference to the behaviour of the pupils. Over 18 months 75 sessions took place, 80 young people took part in the project, 13 became volunteers, there was a 60 percent decrease in antisocial behaviour in Caerphilly and four young people joined a golf club,” said Gareth Bennett from Valleys Golf Enterprise.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 12, 2016 13:09
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