Postgraduate students and staff from the Cardiff School of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University have played a key role in helping the Golf Union of Wales (GUW) launch a brand new initiative.
Ph.D students Charlotte Williams, Zach Gould and Professional Doctorate candidate Toby Nichols have all contributed to the GUW's new Coaching Centres programme which aims to help all players fulfil their potential whether at grass roots or elite professional standard.
Charlotte Williams led the psychology and life skills arm of the project and is supervised by both staff at Cardiff Met and Bangor University.
Movement specialist Zach Gould worked alongside Wales National Coach, Neil Matthews, in the swing programme and led the functional movement arm of the project.
Toby Nichols, who is completing his Professional Doctorate with the GUW, focused on coach education – which will have a bearing on supporting coaches within the project.
The coaching centres was launched at Ryder Cup venue, The Celtic Manor Resort, by Ladies European Tour Rookie of the Year Amy Boulden and European Tour player Oliver Farr. They were joined by a host of Wales's top coaches and a group of school children taking part in a special coaching clinic.
Speaking about the students' involvement, Dr Rich Neil said:
"Supervised primarily by staff at Cardiff Met, Charlotte, Zach and Toby have all played a critical role in helping the Golf Union of Wales launch this high profile programme that will be of huge benefit to players of all levels across Wales.
"The unique opportunity they have had to work with the Golf Union of Wales can only serve to boost their skills, knowledge and employability. I would like to thank everyone at GUW for giving them this fantastic chance and feel sure that Cardiff Met can continue contributing to the development of golf in Wales and beyond over the coming years."
Golf Union of Wales Director, Ben Waterhouse added:
"Developing Tomorrow's Champions means trying to offer the highest standard of coaching and facilities all around Wales. We currently have 11 centres and 21 coaches who are already accredited via the GUW, the plan is to grow these numbers over the coming years.
"We have spent more than five years building this programme and it will be the most important programme the Golf Union of Wales run over the next five to ten years.
"It encompasses many of our key functions across golf development, performance, coach education and championships. The Golf Union set out its long term plans for the next five years in a document called Vision 20/20 – this programme delivers across five of our seven core purposes.
"It has been a long time coming but we felt that it was important to get the scheme right before launching. This is why we spent a year piloting the programme with Celtic Manor Resort, Tenby Golf Club, Valleys Golf Enterprise and Clays Golf and their PGA professional's.
"We have taken the feedback from all those people and that has helped us get significant investment from Sport Wales, along with funding from the GUW.
"We are also delighted with the buy in from so many of the club professionals round Wales who are driven towards improving standards and increasing the numbers of people playing golf and joining clubs. We hope there will be many more in the future who will be able to deliver this programme.
"These players will eventually feed into a revamped junior championship structure with the goal of having a Junior Golf Tour in Wales."