Eleven-year-olds from Iroquois Public School and Morrisburg Public School will be the first students to get a chance to participate in a new pilot program that will get kids out on the golf course, with mentors, to learn the game of golf and the important life skills inherent in the game.
The pilot program, Stay on Course, was the idea of OPP Constable Pete Robertson, who is the local media relations officer and an integral part of the Seaway Valley Crime Stoppers Program.
OPP and the Upper Canada District School Board have teamed up with the Iroquois and Morrisburg Golf Courses, Archies Driving Range and the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Community Futures Development Corporation to make this program possible.
“Stay On Course is a pilot program structured to present a quality curriculum that teaches students values such as integrity, respect and perseverance through the game of golf,” said Frank McDonald, Seaway Valley Crime Stoppers board chair, at the Iroquois Golf Course July 17, where the program and funding announcements regarding the program were made during the Seaway Valley Crimestoppers annual fundraising golf tournament.
“In addition to learning fundamentals of the golf swing and the game, this program will instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices which will help young people, starting at the age of 11 prepare for success in life,” said McDonald.
This program will not only allow Crime Stoppers and the OPP the opportunity to be more proactive in the community, it will allow them to form meaningful connections with this community’s youth. “All of the hard work that goes into this will pay off,” said McDonald.
“We are pleased to be a partner in this program,” said Dave Thomas, director of education with the Upper Canada District School Board, speaking about the benefits of the skills children learn while they are at play.
“We are really pleased for the federal government to invest in our youth for a better future,” said MP Guy Lauzon. The SD&G CFDC, which is funded by the federal government, through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, has contributed $30,000 to Seaway Valley Crime Stoppers to support the new Stay On Course program. “The Government of Canada recognizes the important role that not for profit community based organizations play in strengthening our rural communities. We want our children to be active, healthy and have fun while participating in sports and physical activity.”
“This program will be a real asset to the community,” said South Dundas Mayor Steven Byvelds. “It will provide a great foundation for those who don’t often get the opportunity.”
“It is great to see this program for youth that will help before it’s too late,” said Dennis Fife, chair of the SD&G Police Services Board.
Although the full details of the program are still being ironed out, it is known that the program will be free, it will be organized through the schools and all of the necessary equipment for participation will be provided.