On a June afternoon at Annunciation School, Tyler Stene has the role of supervising eager and energetic students participating in his new Starting New At Golf (SNAG) program.
The classes, which aim to run from kindergarten to Grade 5, teach kids the fundamentals of the sport using age appropriate equipment. “I think with the younger kids playing with the real steel clubs it’s a little dangerous,” said Stene. “But these plastic clubs and tennis balls, it’s a great introduction into how to play.”
Stene was running the program when he worked as a pro at Victoria golf courses, and brought it with him when he moved to Prince Rupert in February.
“I loved it when I first heard about it when I was on the island. Because Rupert’s been lacking the junior program, I was really excited to bring it here,” said Stene.
|Games like tug of war are utilized by SNAG to teach some of the more subtle traits needed to succeed at golf. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)|
There are a number of stations that kids rotate set up around the gym during classes. In addition to traditional golf activities like driving and putting, students play a one-on-one version of tug of war, as well as shoot oversized foam balls into basketball hoops.
While the relationship may not be immediately clear between golf and some of the stations, developing skills like accuracy and upper body strength all play into the sport.
|Kids rotate between stations to receive lessons in all different areas of the sport. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)|
“The big thing is to associate fun with golf,” said Stene. “When you see this, there’s other games that aren’t exactly golf, but they all contribute to golf.”
Stene has already taken SNAG to several of Prince Rupert’s elementary schools, introducing hundreds of kids to the sport. He is hopeful this will translate into increased enthusiasm towards the sport, and subsequently more athletes on his high school golf team at Charles Hays.
Alex Kurial | Sports Reporter
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