As part of an ongoing project focus, the Ryder Cup European Development Trust [RCEDT] recently spoke to the PGA of Spain’s Jose Vicente Perez, to find out more about the PGA of Spain Junior League, what it involved, the impact that it had and why Trust support for the programme was so important…
1) What is the PGA of Spain Junior League?
JVP: “The PGA of Spain Junior League was born 4 years ago, based on the idea of trying to bring golf to all children of all ages and abilities across Spain, through competitive tournaments”.
The league enlisted golf clubs and facilities to put forward juniors to these competitions, so that they could reap the many benefits of participating including:
- Competing in a fun and engaging way
- Socialise with other children heir won age and make more friends
- Continue to play golf in the future
JVP: “The Country was divided into 15 zones, with 10 tournaments in each zone, whereby winners from each category gained access to a national final”.
2) How successful has it been?
JVP: “Since it started, over 4000 children have engaged in the program, with a significant rise in 10 years-and-under children.
“There are also the longer term impacts of the league, which has brought the sport closer to more families, enabled greater future access to golf and generated a significant social media impact and amount of coverage that will ultimately promote golf as a sport across Spain”.
3) How did the RCEDT support influence the success of the league’s work.
JVP: “Due to initial support from the RCEDT, the PGA of Spain Junior League was able to create, recruit and formalise a team of PGA Professionals as ‘Zone Coordinators’ – people who acted as ambassadors to speak with golf clubs and facilities, organise the tournaments and provide ongoing support to both the juniors and the parents of them. This was an integral part of the programme’s success throughout”.
4) Why is the RCEDT such an important initiative for golf in general, and the development of the game across Europe?
JVP: “The RCEDT was the only form of available support for a project like the PGA of Spain Junior League, and enabled a great number of children to be able to learn and play golf.
“By funding various developments such as this one, the RCEDT is invaluable in growing the game across Europe, giving back to the sport and providing grassroots opportunities to hundreds of thousands of people each year who want to play golf but are restricted in some way of doing so”.