Search begins for top junior golf clubs and volunteers

The search has begun to find and select Scotland’s top junior golf clubs and volunteers for the coveted RBS Junior Club and Volunteer Awards.

RBS awards 2012_1

Jim Cowper, ClubGolf Coordinator at reigning RBS Junior Club Dundas Park, Turnhouse Golf Club's Iain Holt, holder of the RBS Volunteer Award, and ClubGolfers from both clubs, celebrate the launch of the RBS Junior Club and Volunteer Awards at South Queensferry, by Rob Eyton-Jones.

Launched at Edinburgh's South Queensferry, home of reigning RBS Junior Club Dundas Parks, the Awards will reward clubs and volunteers that demonstrate excellence in promoting junior golf through the national junior programme, ClubGolf.

The winners will receive their prizes alongside the biggest names in Scottish golf at The Scottish Golf Awards Dinner in Glasgow on 1 March 2013.

And with an increased prize of £1,500 presented to the winning facility or club, with funds available for the runners-up, plus £500 for the leading volunteer, there is plenty of incentive to enter.  

Numbers of juniors taking up golf across Scotland are at an all time high as a result of ClubGolf, sponsored by RBS to support ClubGolf's development of golf in the community and encourage children to stay in the game.

The recognition of being crowned RBS Junior Club this March has made a huge difference to Dundas Parks Golf Club's junior section.

"In winning the award and engaging our partners, Active Schools and supported by our ClubGolf Regional Manager, we have raised the profile of the club and sport beyond all recognition in the local community," said Jim Cowper, the club's ClubGolf Coordinator. 

"The spin off resulting from the extensive media coverage has helped us double our junior membership.  We now have 13 children in Stage 2 coaching, and 42 at Stage 1, 13 of whom are girls.

"And with the £1000 award we were able to enlist professional help for our Stage 2 and 3 golfers."

Dundas Park continues to go the extra mile for junior development.  It is in its second year of coaching at its local high school with 13 pupils taking part.   The club has also recruited five extra volunteer coaches for 2013, three of whom are pupils from the school, taking its team to 11.

As a direct result of its junior coaching, one of the club's girls, Claire Forrester, finished runner up in the under 12s final of the Stephen Gallacher Foundation flag competition at Kingsfield and four of its boys reached the event's older age group finals at Dunbar.

Meanwhile, its under 16 team won the Century Cup, beating the other teams in Linlithgowshire for the first time, and its junior team finished runners up in the league, its highest ever finish.

There is little doubt in Mr Cowper's mind that being nominated for these awards is a rewarding experience.

"I urge all clubs to enter the process," he added.  "The event is just wonderful but above all receiving the funding can allow you to achieve so much for the children."

Likewise, Iain Holt, stalwart volunteer coach and ClubGolf Coordinator at Edinburgh's Turnhouse Golf Club, who won the RBS Volunteer Award earlier this year, urges clubs and coaches to make their nominations.

"This award has given the club and my fellow volunteers a big lift as being recognised in this way shows that the work we are doing is important and essential to bringing young people into the game," he said.

"Whether you are a club or know an individual involved in delivering the clubgolf programme
to young people, then this is the perfect opportunity to shout out and let people know what you are doing and achieving.

"You never know, it could be you up there receiving the award at this big event."

Bruce Cook, head of Sponsorship & Hospitality at RBS, said: "We're proud supporters of these awards, which highlight and reward the considerable efforts made by volunteers in golf clubs all around the country. 

"Our investment in Scottish Golf is firmly focused on the game's grassroots and these awards recognise the individuals who put in hours of work behind the scenes to ensure Scotland's youngsters have the opportunity to experience and enjoy the game of golf."

To nominate your club for RBS Junior Golf Awards click here. Closing date for nominations is 16 January 2013 at 1000hrs.

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