The Hero’s Handshake scheme, a programme supported by England Golf and the Golf Foundation that celebrates young people’s accomplishments and contributions to golf, has announced its latest monthly award winners.
The winners are selected by the Young Ambassadors, a group of young men and women aged 14-22 dedicated to championing the game and looking at golf from a junior perspective.
The August Hero’s Handshake winner was a very inspiring and brave five-year-old golfer, George Hughes, from Wigan Golf Club. George has found a passion for golf which has helped him cope with the sadness of losing his father. With the support of his mum Louise and grandad Tony, George uses golf to support his fundraising activities and to help build awareness of organ donation.
So far, George has helped to raise over £54,000 for The Freeman Heart and Lung Transplant Association. One fundraising event saw George hitting 300 golf balls in two hours and this event alone raised £7,500.
Beyond this incredible fundraising work, the fun George has with his grandad at golf has inspired children and shown adults how they can spend more quality time with their children. When presented with the Hero’s Handshake trophy, George said: “It feels really good and it was a surprise to win.”
George loves to encourage other youngsters to give golf a go and has even helped with tasters at his school. He added: “Go for it – it’s fun and keeps you fit, you get to meet new people and just whack the ball!’
The September Hero’s Handshake Winner, Lucy Robinson, received her award at the Junior Zone in the tented village at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club.
Lucy, who last year became a Young Ambassador herself, was surprised by England Golf CEO Jeremy Tomlinson and Golf Foundation CEO Brendon Pyle, who joined the presentation party. The teenager was nominated by her coach Paul Ring, who is very grateful for her ongoing support and volunteering during Girls Golf Rocks classes at Ash Valley Golf Club in Hertfordshire.
Lucy has shown young girls how golf can be an accessible and fun sport for all. She is incredibly dedicated and continues to step outside her comfort zone helping out at events, coaching and now taking part in competitions herself, despite dealing with anxiety.
Lucy admitted: “Golf and volunteering has really improved my confidence… I enjoy helping others and love supporting the girls who do Girls Golf Rocks.”
Since becoming a Young Ambassador, Lucy has made great progress in developing her skills and continues to embrace every opportunity that comes her way – a true role model and hero for young people in the game.
During the flagship event on the DP World Tour, the Young Ambassadors encouraged visitors to the zone to take part in a fun chipping and target challenge. While on site, visitors were able to learn more about England Golf’s work to promote membership, grassroots initiatives such as Girls Golf Rocks and iGolf, as well as enter free draws to win prizes courtesy of Your Golf Travel.
The Young Ambassadors also got the chance to interview celebrities, such as Love Island’s Chris Hughes and Harry Potter actor James Phelps, on how they got into golf to inspire others to take up the game.
England Golf CEO, Jeremy Tomlinson, said: “It was great to catch up with the Young Ambassadors at the BMW PGA Championship and to help them present a Hero’s Handshake Award to such a deserving winner in Lucy. For England Golf and the Golf Foundation it’s so important to get the message across that golf is a game for all and you’re never too young to start.
“Our ambassadors do a great job in helping us champion the game and it was fantastic to see them bring so much energy and passion to the zone and interact with the visitors to the stand in such a positive way.”