Cumberwell Park achieve GolfMark accreditation
Cumberwell Park is delighted and proud to be the first golf club in Wiltshire to be accredited with the EGU/ELGA GolfMark Award and also to be recognised by Sport England as a Clubmark club.Since opening in 1994, one of the club's key objectives has been to introduce young people to the game of golf. Led by John Jacobs, PGA Professional and Director of Golf, the coaching team have created and developed opportunities for significant numbers of children and young people in the local and surrounding areas to become involved in the game of golf. The golf club continues to support England Golf's 2020 vision ‘To be the Leading Golfing Nation in the World' - through the provision of opportunities for participants to START, STAY and SUCCEED in the game.
When Cumberwell Park embarked upon the GolfMark assessment process, it gave the club the opportunity to review and improve its existing practices and procedures. For example, the golf club is now making full use of technology through a simple and easy to use swipe card log in/out system for junior golfers. Not only does this record when individuals arrive and leave the premises but also, important medical information is instantly available to certain staff via the system database.
Cumberwell Park was also able to involve their young golfers in developing a Junior Handbook. This included an enthusiastic response to a competition for the design of a junior logo. The club ran the competition over the Easter holiday with every entrant receiving a chocolate egg, which seemed to have been a good incentive. The logo now appears on various materials and documentation within the junior section at the club.
Most recently, Cumberwell Park has launched an Academy Membership, which is a stepping- stone for those who have started in the game but have not yet reached a sufficient standard and level of confidence to enrol as a full junior member. At the launch evening, the club were able to promote the facility as being GolfMark and Clubmark accredited, demonstrating to parents their commitment to providing a welcoming, safe, happy structured learning environment for their children to develop social and technical golfing skills. This played a part in attracting over 50 new young people to the golf club as Academy members, of which 12 are girls. Cumberwell firmly believe that a high percentage of these children will now stay in the game, progress through the junior section and ultimately go onto adult membership.
The procedure for achieving GolfMark accreditation was straightforward. The process flowchart and other supporting material on the website: www.golfmark.org gave clear guidance on how to proceed and the club was fully supported by Jamie Woodford, EGU/ELGA Regional Development Officer throughout. It is fair to say that compiling the documentary evidence for the final assessment was a fairly lengthy exercise, however with much of the process being completed online and the fact that draft policies were available from the RDO, this enabled the club to complete the entire process within a relatively short space of time.
The spin offs of being a GolfMark club and Sport England Clubmark facility has already been evident in a number of ways. Overall, the time and effort in achieving the award is proving beneficial and will enable Cumberwell Park to continue to represent the national standard for quality sports clubs across the country.
Thanks to Chris Wittcomb, Project Manager at Cumberwell Park Golf Club for the content in this article.