Sep 28, 2022 Sports
Kaieteur News – For the first time in Guyana’s history, Golf was taken at CSEC by 110 learners and the results were absolutely fantastic with 84 achieving Grade 1s and 26 Grade 2s.
According to Ms. Barker-King, head of the Allied Arts Unit and Kurt Braithwaite, who led the development of the program in the schools, “this is the fastest we’ve ever implemented a new sport into the education system and the ease in which it was taught has taken everyone by surprise. The teachers and learners have responded magnificently and we want to join with Mr. Hussain to congratulate all those who took the leap of faith to write golf on short notice at CSEC and achieve such a high pass rate.”
In was only in January 2021, having been alerted by Ms. Dow Richardson from Ministry of Sports that golf was on the PE syllabus for CSEC, that a seemingly impossible goal was set by Hussain, who stood alone in his belief and desire to transform Guyana into a Golf nation. Adding to this herculean task was the limitations imposed by the covid-19 pandemic and elections turmoil the country was experiencing at the time but those adverse effects were turned into positives.
Golf was the only covid compliant sport during the pandemic so Hussain partnered with the Ministry of Education Allied Arts Unit to bring the sport to secondary schools for the first time in the country’s history. Their plan was to include golf on the PE curriculum and allow students to take it as an elective at CSEC examinations.
Hussain founded the Guyana Golf Association in 2020 but since golf was deemed an ‘elite sport’ there were no concessions or support for the startup organization and the responsibilities of providing equipment, balls and training fell squarely on his shoulders, but despite the odds, the monumental task was accomplished with the strong support of the MOE Allied Arts Unit, donors and overseas supporters.
In March 2021, six schools entered into a pilot program and a ‘Train the Trainers’ program was developed along with a syllabus and examination guideline for teachers. By the end of 2021, teachers from 102 secondary schools had gone through the program and amazingly, over 100 students had decided to take golf at CSEC in 2022.
When the results were announced in September, the incredible efforts by the Guyana Golf Association, Nexgen Golf Academy, Allied Arts Unit, teachers and students had paid off as it was evident that not only was the program a success in a very short time but Guyanese students had made history by taking a never-before-played sport and excelling at it!
Today, it is hard to ignore a sport that has captured the attention and imagination of thousands around the country and with an additional 5,000 Trainee Teachers and 6,000 university students set to be exposed to the sport in the coming months, it is anticipated that golf will become one of the most played sports in Guyana, rivaling cricket and football.
According to Hussain, the emphasis must now turn to the development of Golf courses and facilities to satisfy the demand as the growing number of local players, expat workers and remigrants will require at least six new courses within the next few years. “Nexgen Golf has created a unique model that uses just 6-8 acres of land to build a scaled golf course near to populated areas. This saves on development and maintenance costs, thereby reducing the fees for the average players and opening the sport to everyone.”
The Guyana Golf Association and Nexgen Golf Academy has drawn tremendous support from companies and donors who are not the traditional sponsors of Golf in Guyana, mainly because of their model of giving back to charitable organizations, Foundations, Orphanages and providing access to the sport for disadvantaged children and families. It is hoped that more companies will use their platform for CSR as they have demonstrated the ability to deliver results in an incredibly short time.
For more information about golfing in Guyana, visit their Facebook/Instagram pages, call 645-0944 or stop by the Nexgen Golf Academy on Woolford Avenue in Georgetown.
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