Since the Fiji International was completed in August this year, 15 different schools around Fiji have been keeping golf at the forefront with the Westpac PGA School Golf Clinic program.

More than 1,500 students have tried their golf skills out over the past two months, ensuring that the next generation of Vijay Singh’s are in training. However, the program is about much more than just golf.

As major partner of the schools program, Westpac recognises the importance for students to develop their physical skills as well as life skills, and has incorporated a financial literacy component into the six week schedule.

“Golf is a unique sport, you can play it well into your old age, and not often in sport do you spend four hours walking next to your opponent and speaking with them,” said Brett Hooker, General Manager for Westpac Fiji.

“Playing golf has a range of benefits outside keeping active including developing social and life skills, and as such we see it as a perfect fit for Westpac in developing life skills through Financial Literacy.

“The students who are participating in the school golf program are learning skills they can take with them for life, both on the golf course and in their lives. We are proud to be contributing to the development of our next generation across many areas.”

The Westpac Financial Literacy sessions were conducted in the lead up to the final awards presentation, which recognised students in each school who excelled throughout the program. Six students were presented an award in each school, with the winners chosen on a combination of their enthusiasm, commitment, manners, with a small focus on their golf ability.

“There were many students who showed great interest in golf, they loved trying a new sport. It was quite difficult to find students in each school who showed more enthusiasm and commitment than others as they all demonstrated a great level of interest,” said Emani Nuirua, the Community Golf Leader trained by the PGA of Australia in Melbourne earlier this year.

“In the end, I liaised with the teachers in each school to select the standout student, however they should all be very proud of their achievements. We are very grateful to Westpac for ensuring this program delivered such great results in 2017.”

The Westpac PGA School Golf Clinic program is now in its third year, with more than 5,000 students being introduced to golf in this time.

“The Fiji International along with our partner Westpac, are proud to host these clinics for school children and to have exposed so many to the joys of golf over the past three years,” said Gavin Kirkman, CEO of the PGA of Australia.

“Golf is a game for life. While children learn the skills, get active and enjoy the benefits of exercise, golf also teaches them etiquette, manners and how to be a gracious sportsperson.
“But most of all the children have fun and from all reports all the participants this year had a great time learning to play golf.”