Six-time European Tour champion Niclas Fasth of Sweden joined a group of young people who are currently in care at Trent Park Golf Course as part of the collaborative Leap and E18HTEEN ‘Fairway’ programme.
The programme has been designed by Leap, specialists in conflict resolution, to enable the young people to develop the skills needed to understand and manage the conflict they experience in their lives.
This one of a kind programme, made possible by a grant from The European Tour’s charitable arm, the Tour Players Foundation (TPF), works with young people aged 16-19 years who are in care. The sport of golf is a suitable means to compliment the conflict resolution course content because successful golfers are able to focus and manage stress and negative thought patterns.
Niclas Fasth commented "Its great to be able to attend and be involved in the Fairway programme, both Marie and I believe in Leap's fantastic work with young people, so when the TPF Trustees agreed to make the grant to kick start the golf specific arm of the E18HTEEN I was only to happy to make the commitment to assist where I can.”
Since 1987, Leap has helped young people transform their lives by giving them the skills they need to prevent their own conflicts spiralling out of control. In today’s society young people are faced with a wide variety of conflicting, challenging situations and important life choices. For young people in care, these conflicts can be further exacerbated by lack of family support or good role models. The programme aims to build young people’s skills and confidence in being able to deal with these day to day conflicts so they can make better choices and maintain successful long-term relationships with their peers, people they live with and other key workers. .
During the day, participants took part in conflict theory workshops that were complimented by practical demonstrations of golf by Trent Park's resident golf professionals and in addition Niclas Fasth demonstrated a number of shots and discussed with the young people present what conflict has meant for him in his professional career and the techniques he has developed to help him stay calm under pressure.
A certificate presentation took place to close the day with Niclas' Wife Marie, a TPF Trustee and The European Tour's Charity Executive, David Park joining the group.
The ‘Fairway’ programme, a golf specific arm of the E18HTEEN project funded by the TPF will provide 11 young people with an introduction to conflict resolution theory, both through classroom lessons and the practical workshop. It will support them through a level 1 accredited Conflict Theory course, where they will learn what conflict is, explore their relationship with conflict (including conflict triggers) and how to manage conflict when it arises. The programme will also train the young people’s mentors using Leap’s signature training course, Playing with Fire; a 6-day course where participants gain insights and practical experience of the patterns that play out in interpersonal conflicts and the roles that individuals take on. By training these adults, the benefit of Leap’s teaching will not only benefit these young people, but they will be supported to integrate the new strategies in their life.
Alex White, E18HTEEN Community Development Manager at Tottenham Hotspur Foundation commented: “Twenty nine per cent of looked after children are not in education, employment or training by the age of 19, compared with 13% of all young people in the UK. By engaging young people in a constructive activity, combined with the accredited Conflict Theory course, this programme will create opportunities for young people to get back to education, training and employment, and steers away from potential unemployment.”
The TPF’s £20,000 investment in the programme continues the Foundation’s goal to ‘Change Children’s Lives Through Golf’.
Tour Players Foundation Trustee, Nick Bitel, said: “Research shows that supporting young people and giving them the ability to deal with issues before they escalate is an effect way of giving them more opportunities in life. We believe golf can play a key part in this process and look forward to seeing the positive results from our involvement in the E18HTEEN Project”.
Jessie Ben-Ami, Director of Delivery at Leap said: “This is an exciting collaboration for us to be part of and provides an opportunity to work with young people in care. By working with young people, as well as the professionals that support them, we hope to provide a holistic package of training and support with young people’s needs at the centre.”