Cambourne Village College serves the new town of Cambourne to the west of Cambridge and currently has over 1100 pupils attending. The PE department at Cam VC is dedicated to ensuring that all pupils, regardless of background or ability, see that sport and physical activity is something that is for them. The department are committed to providing a variety of experiences to allow pupils to get involved, try something new, and ultimately enjoy themselves.
Hannah Curtis, Head of PE at Cambourne Village College
“It was really nice to see girls taking part in an alternative sport that could engage them in lifelong participation after school.”
We worked closely with The Golf Foundation and local golf professional, Joel Rickard, to set out the parameters of the project: to get more girls playing golf, breaking down the stereotypes that golf is for old, white, middle-class men. Joel was keen to build links between local schools and the golf club, and we were keen to provide as many different opportunities as possible for our pupils to engage in sport and physical activity, allowing them to see that they can be successful in a range of activities as well as allowing them exposure to different activities so they could hopefully the “one” for them.
The project began in April 2022 with a golf taster day in school – Joel came into school and delivered a golf session to over 100 girls in year 8. That afternoon, we had a golf taster session as an after-school club and some more pupils were able to give golf a try. Following the success of this, we launched a 7 session “girls into golf” course. The aim was to provide golf tuition and coaching to the girls, providing them with the skills and experience necessary to engage in golf outside of school, with the support and expertise of Joel. We had over 30 pupils interested and had to whittle this down to a group of 20 pupils. Sessions took place at Cambourne VC after school on Monday evenings, with Joel coming along to lead these. On two occasions, the girls were able to attend Cambridge Country Club and use the golf course and facilities there, which they thoroughly enjoyed!
The final session of the project was held at Cambridge Country Club and girls took part in a round of golf. Joel had fundraised to buy a trophy in the shape of a claret jug to award to the most improved golfer over the course of the programme. This final celebration was a fantastic way to round off what was an extremely successful project!
Impact of project
One of the biggest benefits of the girls into golf project was the variety of pupils that signed up to take part – some of whom had not taken part in any extra-curricular PE clubs previously. It was also fantastic to see so many girls from different year groups all working together.
The equipment that was purchased by the school to ensure that this project could run has been used constantly! Not only have we been able to run this project, but with support and CPD from the golf foundation we have offered extra-curricular golf in school to allow more pupils the opportunity to try the sport. In addition to this, some of the girls who took part in the programme requested that golf could form part of their curriculum in PE lessons. As we had all been trained and have the equipment in school, this seemed like a logical step, and we were able to add golf into our summer curriculum offer for KS4 pupils. So far, pupils have absolutely loved this and it has been very popular.
Another benefit is the links that this has given us with Joel and The Cambridge Country Club. Since the completion of the project, Joel and I have been in communication about running more golf and golf coaching sessions at school. We’re both interested in breaking down participation barriers to the sport and getting youth players into the game.
Some of the girls involved in the project have continued with golf. While they haven’t played together again (yet), they have been out on the course with family members.
Joel and I are in discussion about running more golf coaching sessions at school and perhaps even taking pupils down to Cambridge Country Club in the minibus after school to allow them opportunities to play on the course.
Joel also has the contact details of those who completed the project and offered them sessions down at the Country Club.
We’re continuing to deliver golf in our curriculum for KS4 pupils.
We’re planning to re-introduce extra-curricular golf in the new year/better weather.
Once this framework has been published, we encourage partners to consider how they can implement the framework to make a real change for disabled people to access physical activity, sport, and leisure in the way they want, when they want, with no barriers placed on them by society.