Sport England, through the National Sports Foundation (NSF), has awarded £88,000 to the Golf Foundation to enhance its Golf Roots inner city project for 2009.

Golf Roots is the largest ever UK project to introduce urban youngsters to the game, offering golf to children in schools, community events and at golf facilities.

The Golf Foundation, a charity committed to the sporting and social development of young people through golf, believes that golf is an ideal sport for promoting attributes like honesty, respect, co-operation and self-motivation; all attributes that are seen as desirable for youngsters growing up in sometimes pressurised city environments.

In 2008, Golf Roots focused on 16 urban areas of England and Wales, reaching thousands of youngsters from all backgrounds and abilities. Golf Roots seeks to inspire community golf projects which are both sustainable and lead to an increase in the number of schoolchildren accessing golf at clubs and driving ranges.  

The new National Sports Foundation funding will help to extend and develop Golf Roots into 2009. The £88,000 has been matched against recent Golf Roots contributions from the Ryder Cup Trust, from Golf Roots Ambassador, BBC radio presenter DJ Spoony, and friend of the Foundation Colin Mackinnon. Other significant supporters going forwards are The European Tour and England Golf, and a further amount of money has been made available from the Ryder Cup Trust for Golf Roots activity in Wales.

Mike Round, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: ‘We are hugely grateful for this fantastic show of support from all these funders who are demonstrating a real commitment to junior golf. The news about this additional matched funding by the National Sports Foundation is a further great boost for our activity and will help us build next year on the incredible success of Golf Roots in 2008.’

Across the 16 cities this year, 5,930 children from 155 schools played Tri-Golf or Golf Xtreme, modified golf games that introduce 5-16 year-olds to golf in a school setting. Some 477 people were trained to introduce young people to Tri-Golf and Golf Xtreme, and more than 7,000 boys and girls tried golf at public venue events.

More than 1,150 youngsters enjoyed follow-on coaching at Golf Foundation Community Links centres at golf clubs and driving ranges. At these centres they can receive structured learning on the game through the Foundation’s Junior Golf Passport.