Golf 4 Life: Helping SAGDB ‘Build the Game, Grow the Nation’

Golf 4 Life, Free To Grow’s 2-day personal development programme for youth, travels across the country in partnership with the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) to deliver on their vision of deepening their touch on the youth through growing their psychological capital (PsyCap).

Golf 4 Life, Free To Grow’s 2-day personal development programme for youth, travels across the country in partnership with the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB)

SAGDB’s regional youth golfers from the Western Cape (top left), Gauteng (top right), Eastern Cape (bottom left) and KwaZulu Natal (bottom right) celebrate with their teams to mark the end of their 2-day personal development journey with Free To Grow.

Following the success of the pilot group, rolled out in Cape Town in 2018, the programme has been delivered in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Durban – with overwhelmingly positive results. “I’ve expanded my knowledge and learned new things. I’m really grateful to SAGDB and Free To Grow Facilitators, Stephané and Mbuso, because now I’ve got a vision and I think I can reach my goals because I will be able to make the right choices,” says Soweto golfer, Ompulusa Tshishonga.

These sentiments were mirrored by many of the learners who have found the programme’s principles and practices immediately applicable in their lives. Following the training, 92% of learners indicated that they will be able to use what they learned.

During the camps, key themes such as goal setting, self-esteem and attitude were explored, using experiential learning techniques to motivate and engage the learners. Day one involved an unpacking of the topic ‘Winning in Life’, challenging the learners’ perceptions of success, exploring the value of goal setting and the steps needed to realise them.

Obstacles, Options and Opportunities

During interactive outdoor activities, the youngsters learned that just like on an obstacle course, in real life we are faced with options, obstacles and opportunities when pursuing our goals.

A 17-year-old participant shares how “the Golf 4 Life programme and camp is very serious and it is good because it teaches us about how to achieve our goals and to never give up. It is influencing us to try, and to fight and to work hard so that we can achieve our goals.”

This was followed by the fundamentals of self-esteem. Underpinning Emotional Intelligence and PsyCap, self-esteem is essential in building resiliency and self-efficacy. As such it was encouraging to see that 80% of learners said that they were very motivated to continue building their self-esteem following the camp.

Basic life skills for school learners

Learners perform a fun strengths activity, demonstrating that people have different strengths and that by having a clearer view of ourselves, we will become more aware of our strengths and will be better able to value and utilise.

The importance of attitude and specifically ownership, optimism, resilience and gratitude were the focus of day two. Under the experienced facilitation of Stephané Pretorius, Mbuso Mlagisi and Sizwe Mthembu, learners experienced the power of gratefulness as a tool to help them remain positive and optimistic.

FTG partners with the South African Golf Development Board to inspire their youth

Learners participate in building a gratitude chain, sharing what they are grateful for.

Before closing with a prize-giving ceremony, learners reflect on their experience during the camp and select one thing about themselves that they wish to either, accept, or leave behind, and one thing that they would like to take action on moving forward.

SAGDB’s aspiring young golfers commit to reaching their goals

Inspired learners share touching commitments on what they’d like to do more of in their lives.

While Golf 4 Life presented SAGDB’s aspiring young golfers with a rich learning experience in terms of knowledge and skills, it also ensured that the process was fun, creating opportunities for active involvement and team bonding. Between kayaking on the river, braai competitions and rap battles, there was never a dull moment and learners, from all regions, raved about the camps. The value of this also lies in creating new experiences for the youngsters’ and ultimately broadening their worlds.

In addition to the learners, the coaches in attendance also derived value from the experience. Not only did they get to know their mentees better, but also gained a deeper understanding of how to interact with them in more meaningful ways. Prince Modiba’s, Coach at SAGDB, shares his experience; “this programme got me thinking that I should be trying to engage more with the kids. Going from this camp to our practice sessions I’m going to make sure that I have one-on-ones with the kids and interact with the parents more.”

Free To Grow is delighted to continue partnering with SAGBD in their journey of ‘Growing the game. Building the nation’.