Essendon Country Club, Hatfield, has teamed up with the Saracens Sport Foundation to launch Sarrie’s Swing, a disABILITY pilot golf programme.
The programme is initially running for eight weeks in two special educational needs schools in East Hertfordshire; The Valley in Stevenage and Pinewood in Ware.
During this time, a qualified PGA Professional will visit the schools, teaching groups of children the basics of the game as well as transferable skills that they will be able to use in everyday life.
Since the club’s rebirth in 2012, Elaine Ratcliffe, Co-Owner of Essendon Country Club and Trustee member of the Saracens Sport Foundation, has been looking to establish an outreach programme that would benefit those who may have otherwise had little to no way of accessing the sport:
“I was incredibly lucky to have grown up as a golfer. It’s a lovely world where you not only learn how to play a sport that you can enjoy throughout your life, but also make friends and develop social skills that are important for everyday situations.
“Not everyone is lucky enough to have easy access to the game however, so we set up Sarrie’s Swing to provide that access and invite children to benefit from the fun, social and educational aspects of golf in a safe and supportive environment.”
Once the initial eight week programme has ended, participants will be invited to use the extensive facilities at Essendon Country Club to continue learning how to play the game and enjoy the social benefits of being part of a club.
Benjamin Lawrence, the disABILITY Sport Development Manager at Saracens Sport Foundation is optimistic for the future of the golf programme with plans to expand into further special educational needs school throughout the county:
“The initial pilot programme at The Valley and Pinewood have proved to be incredibly popular so we have high hopes for expansion and reaching out to even more children.
“Doing this in conjunction with Essendon Country Club has been invaluable in its initial success and we look forward to continuing working closely with Elaine and her team in developing the programme over the coming years.”
In celebration of the launch, a Saracens Sport Foundation Charity Golf Day will be held at Essendon Country Club on the 7th July in aid of Sarrie’s Swing. For more information on this day and how to enter, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Essendon Country Club, visit www.essendoncc.co.uk.