SUCCESSFUL PILOT OF LITTLE STICKS PROGRAMME IN UK SCHOOLS
Since the start of the 2023-24 UK academic school year, Majesticks GC have been piloting their Little Sticks curriculum within 5 schools in the UK. Targeting two under-privileged areas in the UK, the initial focus areas have had particular relevance to the team and its players. Luton for its proximity to Centurion Club (the course that hosted the inaugural LIV Golf event in 2022 and the 2023); as well as Newcastle, (where the International Series Close House event was hosted, along with it being where Majesticks co-captain Lee Westwood resides).
Woodlands Secondary School caters for 11-18 year olds that have severe and/or profound learning difficulties, assisting both physically and mentally challenged young people. The pupils who have attended the sessions have engaged well with the initiative. The school emphisised how golf is a perfect activity for students with learning difficulties. The children are able to participate at a pace that suits their individual needs, taking breaks where appropriate.
Matt Colliss, one of the teaches at Woodlands who helps in the running of Little Sticks sessions said; “All the pupils have engaged really well. There are a couple of pupils who have really excelled and taken this new sport under their wing. For example, Paris, who typically struggles to communicate with his lack of confidence. The Little Sticks curriculum has really helped Paris’ confidence and it is not something he would have been able to do last year.”
The assistant headteacher at Woodlands, Terry Stevens added “Being involved with Majesticks has introduced golf into our curriculum. It has allowed us to develop our PE teaching staff who had no previous experience of golf. As a school moving forward, we hope to continue the partnership with Majesticks, develop our teacher confidence in delivering golf and actually embed the programme as an activity in our curriculum moving forward.”
Being a secondary special education school, Woodlands do not receive government funding for external sports specialists to come into the building to assist with Physical Educational sessions. The Little Sticks programme gives Woodlands pupils the opportunity to experience a new activity, while also highlighting the importance of sustainability. Educating the staff at schools so they can deliver the Little Sticks curriculum themselves, has always been critical to the Majesticks Impact strategy.
This weeks session at The Chalk Hills Academy had more of an emphasis on the core values within the Little Sticks curriculum, highlighting teamwork, respect and resilience; key values to Team Majesticks. The aim with the pupils at Chalk Hills is to use golf as a tool to demonstrate these values in an interactive way, allowing them to be transferable into everyday life.
Jordan Stephenson, Majesticks GC Head of Charity & Community said “At Majesticks GC, the mission is to have a winning team and thriving community, making the difference both on and off the course. Our ‘Little Sticks’ community and charity program is at the heart of delivering on that mission. The curriculum we have developed, sessions we have delivered and feedback we have received from the young people taking part in the program is something the entire team are incredibly proud of. We continue to look for ways to develop the program, ensuring a lasting impact to truly unleash the potential of young people through golf – we are only just getting started.”
Majesticks GC look forward to rolling the curriculum out in more schools in the UK and to other global territories throughout 2024.