Nottinghamshire Junior Girls have achieved success over the past few years as a result of past funding through the Taskers Competition. Our teams can meet together regularly, build team friendships and ultimately it keeps the girls within the game for much longer as they bond with other players within the county. The impact of the junior funding is already being shown within the county as they go on to represent the junior and womens teams within their club, and then their county. Many of the junior girls are now playing in county matches and are an integral part of the Nottinghamshire County teams.
Junior funding from England Golf focuses on the Under 14 players, this additional source of income allows us to provide coaching for the older age groups and support them at matches.
The funding will be used to provide coaches for our monthly training sessions. It also helps to provide for participation in our end of year Festival of Golf within the Midland North region. At this event we are truly inclusive as teams are provided for non-handicap players, 9 hole high handicappers, the handicap team and the scratch team.
We are hoping to provide more access to training during school holidays and get more group time on the course during the day in 2024, funding will be required for both the coaches and the booking of courses for this to occur.
We have recently taken on a new group of juniors that are progressing from Golf Sixes and the Nippers, these players will need extra support and we are considering taking on an extra coach to help with the demand within the county.
Success criteria are always difficult to measure as the affects can take more than a year to materialise, but we would expect:
- to maintain or increase the number of players within the county training sessions. 5 players will leave at the end of 2024 as they turn 18, but we would hope to take on new players and maintain numbers around 35
- to encourage new players to obtain handicaps, we currently have 6 players without handicaps, we would expect to have at least 4 with handicaps by the end of the year
- players to improve their handicap during the year. The aim is for most players to have lowered their handicap by 2 during the year.
- players feeling confident to take part in team events, players continuing on the pathway having played in one event for match.
These criteria should be achievable by the end of our season in November 2024. While we continue the training sessions over the winter, we would expect most of our aims to be achievable before the usual end to the playing season.
Our other funding comes from the England Golf Development Pathway. This is aimed at the Under 14 players, but the additional funds available from the Taskers would supplement both this and the continuation of our provision for ages 14 – 18 and the scratch team.
Monthly training sessions for U14 players who are generally higher handicap players and those developing through to the handicap team. The aim is to work with their coaches to highlight areas for development, although coaching plans do focus on confidence with putting and short game success, along with confidence when driving.
We also provide a session with a rules official to ensure that our juniors are confident with decision making on the course. This is especially important to juniors within matches or club competitions where they need to be able to confidently stand their ground on decisions made around the rules.
The benefits of previous Taskers Trophy funding
Essentially this money helps to support those who fall outside the England Golf funding, namely the very beginners or the elite players. We have been able to provide continuous training opportunities for junior girls within Nottinghamshire. This has had a knock-on effect that they are more prominent in a club setting and girls in mixed matches and mixed leagues in the county have become more high profile.
Girls are also more confident to go back to their club and join in with club competitions and the raised profile has gone a long way towards breaking down traditional barriers where girls golf was less well known. Having a number of well known junior girls achieving national and International recognition has changed the attitudes of many.
We would like to say a huge thank you to all the Nottinghamshire clubs that have supported us over the past few years. To let them know that the funding has helped to raise the profile of the girls in the county and that it has also encouraged more girls to get involved.
Suzi Anderson - County Junior Organiser - NCLGA