The Search is on for Scottish Golf’s Grass Roots Heroes
Story published at 9:56, Monday, January 4th, 2016
The game’s unsung heroes will be given the chance to share the stage alongside the stars with nominations now open for the Volunteer and ClubGolf Junior Club of the Year ahead of the Scottish Golf Awards in March.
Launched in 2007, the grass roots awards have become a key part of the Awards, recognising the commitment and innovation among those involved in developing junior golf at a local level, while acknowledging the contribution of golf’s significant volunteering workforce across all levels of the game.
With places at the star-studded Scottish Golf Awards up for grabs for shortlisted clubs and volunteers, and a top prize of £1,500 for the winning junior club, competition is sure to be fierce in both categories.
Last year’s winning junior club was Peebles, whose engagement in the local community, growth in coaching numbers, and fundraising efforts have led to the club more than doubling their junior members. The Borders club’s excellent progress has continued since being presented with the title in March, installing new practice facilities for juniors, growing their adult membership and recruiting a new PGA club professional in Steve Johnston.
“We would encourage all clubs who have made progress through ClubGolf programme to enter the Awards,” said Peebles junior convenor Gavin Carruthers. “Winning the Junior Club of the Year Award has been a huge boost, helping to raise awareness of our activities in the local community and attract more people to the club. The financial reward was invested into developing our practice area, which has made a real difference to our junior coaching, as well as benefiting the wider membership.”
Nominations for the Volunteer of the Year Award have been opened up to all those involved in club committees, representatives at Area and County level, and volunteers supporting the game in various governing body roles, in addition to ClubGolf’s volunteer coaches.
The 2015 accolade was shared between Reay Golf Club’s Evan Sutherland and Maitland Pollock from Lochmaben, and Scottish Golf Chief Executive Hamish Grey expects no shortage of worthy candidates for the Award in March.
Grey said: “Volunteering is a huge part of golf in Scotland and we wouldn’t exist at any level if it wasn’t for those giving up their own time for the love of the game. A recent study showed that the value of volunteering was worth more than £3.4m in working hours to the governing body alone, so it’s vital that the Scottish Golf Awards recognise the contribution of the unsung heroes.
“There are thousands involved up and down the country in so many different aspects, whether coaching youngsters, standing as Club captain, refereeing in national championships or helping the greenkeepers, and we want to showcase their stories with the best nominations. It’s a very difficult task to select the overall winners, but each shortlisted nominee is a great ambassador for Scottish Golf.”
All clubs and facilities actively involved in the ClubGolf programme in the last 12 months have the opportunity to nominate themselves in the Junior Club of the Year category, while candidates can be put forward by clubs, Areas, Counties or individuals for the Volunteer of the Year nominations. Full details of the nominations process are available on the Scottish Golf website, with entries accepted in both typed and video formats.
Entries close on Friday 29 January 2016, with a judging panel deciding on the four short-listed finalists for each Award. Winners will be presented on the stage at the Scottish Golf Awards, which takes place on Friday 11 March at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, with finalists winning tickets to attend the event.
The winning Junior Club will receive a grant of £1,500 for their club, while runners-up will receive £500 each. The Volunteer of the Year Award winner will be presented with a £300 golf voucher and gift.
To nominate your club or volunteer, please visit http://www.scottishgolf.org/who-we-are/golfawards/
Scottish Golf www.scottishgolf.org