Published on 20th Oct 2023
Starks Field Primary School in Enfield welcomed the Golf Foundation to help celebrate World Mental Health Day. The national charity aims to introduce children from all backgrounds to golf and was on hand to showcase the mental health benefits that the game can bring.
World Mental Health Day 2023 focuses on the theme that ‘Mental Health is a universal right’, which fits perfectly with the Golf Foundations' new schools programme named Unleash Your Drive. Central to the initiative is the belief that golf, through Golfway Play equipment, can bring a smile to the face of every young person and improve their mental health by enhancing life skills such as confidence, teamwork and camaraderie.
Unleash Your Drive was launched last month by Golf Foundation President and Sky Sports presenter Nick Dougherty. The culmination of five years of research, development and testing, the programme uses nine mental toughness tools over six weeks, all aimed at helping kids cope with the difficulties that life may throw at them, both inside and outside of school.
Trials of the programme have seen mental resilience improve by an average of 20% in children who took part.
Mental health improvement is one thing but smiles on faces certainly help the kids to buy into the idea – the evidence at Starks Field Primary School was there for all to see as Nicola Bennett ran them through a series of fun games using the adapted Golfway equipment.
Melissa Oliveck, Head Teacher at Starks Field Primary School, said: “It’s been great to see the enjoyment of the kids. We’ve seen their confidence improve and seen them discover new skills.”
This session continues Nicola's work with the Golf Foundation across the North London area – she has now been in 10 schools over the past two years, introducing the game to over 150 kids and getting them down to her Bush Hill Park Golf Club to introduce them to the game and show how inclusive it can be.
Nicola commented: “I love working with the kids. I work to introduce the game to kids and adults alike both inside and outside of my golf club – and the work I do with the Golf Foundation is always great fun bringing the game to kids in the local area. The breathing techniques and all the mental toughness tools in the Unleash Your Drive programme are so important to help these kids right now and in their future. I’ve seen the impact it’s had on these kids because I work with them year after year, and I’ve seen their confidence improve directly from these sessions. That is so rewarding!”
To read the full article on the Golf Foundation's website, click here. To learn more about Unleash Your Drive, click here.