MORRISBURG/IROQUOIS–Last week’s buzz word was ‘honesty’ as the Stay On Course pilot golf program kicked off for grade 6 students of Morrisburg and Iroquois Public Schools.
The program was the idea of O.P.P. Constable Pete Robertson, who is the local media relations officer and an integral part of the Seaway Valley Crime Stoppers Program. Through the program, Const. Robertson hopes to instill the important life skills inherent to golf, as well as introducing them to the sport.
On the tee with Robertson are Seaway Valley Crime Stoppers, the Upper Canada District School Board, Canadian Tire Morrisburg, Archie’s Golf in Cornwall, the Iroquois and Morrisburg Golf Clubs and the Dundas and Glengarry Community Futures Development Corporation.
As they learn to execute their golf shots, the students (17 MPS and 30 plus IPS), will learn about honesty, integrity, respect and perseverance, all desirable factors in the game of golf and in life.
Helping out are volunteers from each of the two local golf clubs. Last week, those mentors and the organizers unwrapped the brand new golf club sets, (some donated by CT and Archie’s, some purchased) enough for every student who showed up at their respective courses decked out in their Stay on Course team shirts. The clubs are transported in a new trailer, also donated.
“The majority of my students have never been on a golf course or even gone mini-putting, so they were thrilled to be chosen for the pilot project,” said MPS teacher Sarah Barclay-Thomas. “The new clubs and golf shirts have been used with pride and have helped to create a sense of unity and teamwork.”
“The volunteers are an excellent example of how a small community can make a huge difference,” she added. “Golfing has taught my students about the importance of etiquette, patience, pride and also a sense that there are things out there in the world that they’ve never experienced before, that they might really enjoy and be good at. So it is important that they experience every opportunity that they can.”
The MPS students are on the Morrisburg Golf Course on Tuesday afternoons while the Iroquois students are on the course in Iroquois on Thursdays.
“Hopefully, the children will learn the game of golf, its etiquette, honesty, integrity and sportsmanship,” said Robertson. “And, hopefully, they’ll become leaders in their schools and really good community members. It’s a pilot. We’d like to get it turnkey and get some sustainability to get it into other schools.”
Before heading out for their first on-course experiences last week, the students were given a quick review on safety.
That was followed by their first tentative swings and determination to hit the ball.
Pictured top: the IPS team and below are the MPS golfers with teacher Sarah Barclay-Thomas and O.P.P. Const. Robertson.