With technology-driven education and entertainment finding its place at the forefront of our society, it’s important to remember the types of healthy activities available for children away from a screen.
The benefits of outdoor play
The benefits of playing outside are endless, and these benefits increase with the inclusion of a game like golf. While the benefits of connecting with nature range from reduced stress to creating skilled observers, gameplay also provides kids with problem-solving skills, team play, and patience. Each of these benefits aids in social and academic success.
Golf benefits for kids
The First Tee golf programs focus on instilling positive core values in the lives of all participants.
There are many valuable reasons for a child to become involved in the sport of golf. Below is a list of a few important reasons for your child to take a swing on the course.
Staying active = being healthy
Kids love to move, but sometimes the lull of sitting on the couch can overcome the thrill of heading outside. Enter golf, and kids will enjoy a full-body activity that will keep them moving and active.
Taking turns is a difficult concept for nearly every child. The sport of golf teaches life-long skills: how to react towards others, especially in the face of adversity, to be honest, and to also work on emotions and feelings about themselves.
Enjoying the outdoors through play is wildly beneficial. Spending time outside is calming and reduces stress while also opening the mind to creativity. Fresh air provides a higher amount of oxygen. More oxygen = increased serotonin to the brain, which promotes a positive mood.
Just like life, the game of golf has its ups and downs. We all learn by making mistakes, but we also learn how to overcome them over time. By practicing golf, kids improve, which makes them hopeful.
The quick access to data on a screen leads to kids growing up way too fast. Golf encourages kids to meet up to play and enjoy a game through friendly competition in a beautiful outdoor area of your community.
A sport for all
Golf is a sport for everyone. All ages and walks of life can get on the golf course and learn to play the game.
Quality family time
Golf brings families closer together through hours of bonding on the course. That much quality time together is a luxury for most, yet when you bring golf into your family, each person will commit to that activity.
Skill development and mastery
When students play the game, they begin to see the things they do well and areas that need work. Knowing they want to and can improve will have them seeking out instruction, accepting evaluation, and using self-awareness to develop skills and mastery.
Appreciation of nature
Children who spend a good deal of time outdoors develop a natural bond with the environment. This attachment forms an environmental consciousness that drives a need to conserve, sustain, and protect the natural world for generations to come.
Success on the course = success in school
The game of golf focuses on the individual. It is the child’s swing, concentration, and discipline that leads to success—just like in the classroom. Every shot counts in golf, and unlike the endless do-over with video games, the game moves along after you take your shot. Golf translates to the classroom when you are responsible for studying, doing your homework, paying attention in class, and asking for help when needed. The student is in charge of the outcome.
Executive Director of The First Tee of the Virginia Peninsula, Jessica Evans, receives multiple testimonies from First Tee participants who share their successes in school as they gain confidence, public speaking skills, and focus.
Parents also see an improvement in their child’s attention in school.
“The First Tee teaches self-management and perseverance,” Evans says. “Children learn to rein back their emotions to keep concentrating and succeeding, even when it gets hard.”
Supporting a community youth program
The First Tee of the Virginia Peninsula is a junior golf program that is also a part of the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA. While the program teaches youth the game of golf, The First Tee’s mission is to teach valuable life lessons as well.
On Friday, June 14, 2019, First Tee, a program run by the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA, in partnership with Ferguson, is holding its 4th annual Kid-AM charity event to help raise money for The First Tee student scholarships. The event will be hosted by the Two Rivers Country Club in Williamsburg and will include 18 foursomes paired with a junior participant from The First Tee program.
Evans has seen the successes of past events that have led to many children in the peninsula swinging clubs with The First Tee.
“Students that haven’t had the opportunity to play golf, due to transportation or the financial means, are thrilled to have the option to play,” Evans says.
Learn more about participating in The First Tee of the Virginia Peninsula 4th annual Kid-Am Golf Tournament by clicking here.
Historically, The First Tee of the Virginia Peninsula has been able to sponsor two Boys and Girls Club programs that provide transportation to and from the golf course from funds raised by these charity events. If you are interested in sponsorship of the Boys and Girls club, or any other aid, please contact:
Executive Director, The First Tee of the Virginia Peninsula
Ferguson is active in the community in a variety of ways. Find out more about how Ferguson gives back here.
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