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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.