CN Future Links Signs Graham DeLaet As Golf In Schools Ambassador, Adopts 15 Schools In Kamloops
by Alfie Lau
He may not be in the field at the upcoming U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, but Canada’s No. 1 ranked PGA TOUR player is still doing some great things.
Saskatchewan’s Graham DeLaet announced this week that he is now an ambassador for Golf in Schools, Golf Canada’s junior golf initiative aimed at introducing golf to students through a school’s PE curriculum.
DeLaet will appear in Golf in Schools promotional materials — including learning resources and videos in addition to hosting a Golf in Schools junior clinic during the fall to raise excitement in the sport as students head back to school.
As part of his relationship with Golf in Schools, DeLaet will also raise money through his Foundation, the Graham and Ruby DeLaet Foundation, to adopt schools into the program in communities across Canada.
“When Ruby and I started our foundation, we wanted to ensure that it supported golf at the grassroots level – and the Golf in Schools program is making a big contribution in bridging the gap. We believe that it is important to introduce golf to schools so that kids can start learning the sport early, seeing more kids with clubs in their hands, and ultimately growing the game of golf,” said DeLaet, a graduate of Golf Canada’s National Team program.
Currently offered in more than 2,400 elementary and close to 300 high schools across Canada, Golf in Schools provides children with a basic introduction to golf through the Canadian school physical education curriculum. The program features three curriculum levels – Grades 2–5 and high school level along with the newly launched intermediate level for students in Grade 6–8.
The announcement comes on the heels of a celebration on June 5th at the Mount Paul Golf Course in Kamloops celebrating CN’s recent adoption of 15 local schools in the Kamloops region, bringing the total to 135 Golf in Schools adoptions since 2013, all part of the CN Future Links Community Tour.
Close to 50 students from both Sk’elep School of Excellence and Pinantan Lake Elementary celebrated with a CN Future Links Field on June 5th. Students received lessons in safety, putting, driving and chipping from Mt. Paul Head Professional Danny Latin.
“Junior golf is a perfect fit for our focus on health and safety within our physical education curriculum,” said Denise Harper, Chair of the Board of Education for Kamloops District No. 73. “Our school board is very thankful to have the opportunity to introduce the sport and its life-long lessons to our students for many years to come.”
“CN is proud to extend our support of junior golf to Canadian students through the school adoption program,” said Claude Mongeau, CN President and Chief Executive Officer.
“CN continues to move the needle in terms of initiating creative ways to expose golf to Canada’s youth,” said Jeff Thompson, Golf Canada’s Chief Sport Officer.
“The Community Tour is a very exciting national initiative for introducing golf in fun, community-based festival environments across the country — an engaging method of taking the sport directly to youth.”
Current CN Future Links programming includes the Learn to Play program as well as mobile clinics, PGA Jr. League, Girls Club, Field Trip and the CN Future Links Championships.
In 2014, CN Future Links junior golf activities were conducted at 455 golf facilities, with more than 7,000 juniors registered in the Learn to Play program. In addition, 160 golf facilities took part in the Junior Skills Challenge, running more than 3,200 juniors through qualifying events.
More than 56,000 youngsters participated in more than 1,200 mobile golf clinics across the country. Since 2006, more than 1.2 million children have been introduced to golf through the CN Future Links program.
The Golf in Schools program was created to introduce Canadian elementary and high school students to the game of golf. Developed by Physical and Health Education Canada, in partnership with Golf Canada, the PGA of Canada and Canada’s provincial golf associations, the program is designed to deliver physical education learning outcomes through fun, golf- related activities.
With 10,000 elementary schools and 4,600 high schools representing close to 4.5 million students across the country, the Canadian school system and its physical education curriculum represents the single most concentrated opportunity to introduce children of all backgrounds to the sport of golf.
The Golf in Schools program is proudly supported by ClubLink, Heritage Canada and the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA).