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Golf - 22. March 2008.

EWGA launches new girls’ training squads in 10 counties

The English Women’s Golf Association has worked with Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambs & Hunts, Derbyshire, Norfolk, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Suffolk and Warwickshire to set up the new county Birdie squads.

The move is part of a programme to roll out EWGA’s Birdie training across the country and follows a successful pilot scheme in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire & Herefordshire.

One 11-year-old involved in the pilot scheme told the organisers how selection for squad had helped her. “The opportunities now open to me are fantastic,” she wrote.

“Before I was chosen for training I actually wasn’t very sure of how good I was because I only played with boys who were generally stronger and I hardly ever beat them in competition.

“Now I’m playing with girls my confidence has been boosted a lot. Now I feel really special because if you have chosen me it means I must have a lot of potential.”

Birdie squads are aimed at girls aged between 10-14. The county groups follow the principles of the EWGA curriculum and the players each attend four all-day training sessions which cover physiotherapy, fitness, nutrition and psychology as well as technical golf coaching.

Linda Carruthers, one of EWGA’s regional training officers, said: “This is a great opportunity for the players and there is some real talent out there.

“These squads will give the girls a very good grounding. We estimate that 10 per cent will go on into elite squads and that others will become good club and county players who will stay in the game.”

Chris Sparks, regional training officer for the eastern counties
added: “This means we can involve many more girls and give them a clearer pathway in golf.”

The new county squads are based at:
Bedfordshire and Cambs & Hunts - TP Golf, Hemingford Abbots
Berkshire  – Blue Mountain Golf Club, Binfield.
Buckinghamshire  – The Hertfordshire, Broxbourne.
Derbyshire – Marriott Breadsall Priory, derby
Norfolk  - Marriott Sprowston Manor, Norwich.
Suffolk - Suffolk Golf and Water Park, Bramford.
Shropshire  – Clays Golf Club, Wrexham.
Staffordshire – to be confirmed
Warwickshire – Shirley Golf Club
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