The Taskers Trophy Funding gives us the opportunity to extend the training and playing opportunities to young girls in Staffordshire in the following practice. Our coaching is headed by Rob Bluck at the 3 Hammers, along with Rory Haig at Branston and Kat Alford and Liv Rayburn at the Chase. We have increased the number of juniors who are actively involved with the county with the benefit of funding from the Taskers Trophy.
We would like to include clubs more in this development and work closely with them. We have already started to build relationships with England Golf, the Staffordshire Association, and Junior Organisers, but as this is the first year of the new plan, it may take a little longer.
Over the last couple of years, due to the Pandemic and other issues, the numbers in the squads have diminished, and we are keen to increase the opportunities for youngsters to be involved. Our aim is to maintain the players we have at the Elite and Development levels and to offer more opportunities to youngsters with no handicap or a high handicap as a future base for the County Development.
Following a very successful Open Day on the 6th of March 2022, 32 youngsters took part in a day of fun and skill acquisition sessions, and these have now been invited, depending on ability, to the Futures Group (previously the Solheim); to the Development Group, and to the Advanced Development Group. The Elite Group is still the same, although we are hoping that some players from the Advanced Development group, will feed into the Elite Squad. Holly Branson, Junior Captain introduced the day, and members of the Elite Squad helped on the day. Rob explained the strategy to the parents, as we are keen to keep everyone informed of what we are doing.
The website for the girls is now updated, and there is an Instagram account so that we can send the news to all those involved. The training sessions are based on the Pyramid, which was devised some years ago and the training for this strategy is based on the five pillars, designed by England Golf. There are five sessions, for each group throughout the year, and there is going to be a celebration day, in October. Matches have been planned, and these are both for the Elite Scratch team and for the Advanced Development Handicap team. The Festival of Golf is going to be held at Branston.
Currently, the main measurable outcome for success is for us to retain the youngsters on our registers, and to see an improvement in their handicaps. Our success will also show that we can win matches and give our players the chance to play at a regional and national levels. Results will echo this. However, we are also aware that our players benefit from the safe, fun and friendly atmosphere in which they can learn; and hopefully, they will be friends for life and be supportive and caring of others.
Jayne Hutchings - Staffordshire Ladies County Golf Association