For many of the youth living in and around Upton District, St Ann, the Sandals Golf and Country Club provides a playground of opportunity with its junior golf programme. Catering to children as young as five years, the long-running golf project, part of the community outreach for the hotel resort chain, is enabling talent for the sport and bigger things. “It teaches them golf and life skills,” Miguel Arthurs, general manager, Sandals Golf and Country Club, explained. “Discipline, sportsmanship, honesty, provides tutors for academics, mentors,” he continued, outlining benefits of the programme that is coordinated from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Through training, the participants develop their game to a high standard, with many moving on to represent both Jamaica’s junior and senior golf teams. In fact, the current Caribbean Amateur Golf Championship winner, Romaine Evans, developed in the programme, as well as Wesley Brown, who has graduated onto the United States Professional circuit. It even provides opportunities for a higher education, through golfing scholarships. “We’ve people who joined the programme not thinking they’d have gone on to college,” exclaimed Arthurs. “It’s opening doors where they didn’t exist. “That’s teaching a man how to fish,” he continued. “In a word, that sort of experience is priceless.” The programme is funded by the Sandals Foundation, plus proceeds from events such as the recent series of Travel Industry Golf competitions, which culminated with the 21st staging of the Baxter’s Golf Tournament. During these events there are contests such as the Closest to the Pin, Longest Drive and Putting and Chipping. Participants pay to enter and those monies are funnelled into the golf club’s junior programme. “It’s the only way to secure the program and continue the development of the youth,” said Arthurs. Expanding on the positives, he pointed to tournaments held at the club that involve members of the programme and noted the effect it had in bringing out family and friends. “Families, friends come out to the tournaments, so you’re creating a ripple effect … That’s where you’re making a real change, when you can change the psyche (mindset) of a person that is priceless. That person can change the thought process of others as well,” Arthurs reasoned. “It’s a game of discipline and sportsmanship … and you’re seeing tangible results. If you’re not seeing tangible change then it’s pointless. There’s the community effect and it’s building families,” he added. “The junior golf program has rekindled my faith about what is possible when you invest in young people.”
6 This feature appears in the current edition of Sport magazine, which you can download for FREE here. They are also on Facebook and Twitter @SportMagUKFew could quibble with this month’s PFA Player of the Year shortlist of Harry Kane, N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez, Mesut Ozil, Dimitri Payet and Jamie Vardy. Admittedly, Anthony Martial and Eric Dier might have scratched their heads at their absence from the nominations for young player of the year (though Dele Alli will likely win the award anyway). Yet the list for the full award is strong.In this craziest of Premier League seasons, however, there are – at least – six more players worthy of recognition.REVEALED: PFA ANNOUNCE SHORTLIST FOR TEAM OF YEAR 6 6 Danny Drinkwater: Leicester – Pretty much any of Leicester Citys starting XI could make a case for being in the Premier League team of the season, but 26-year-old Drinkwater has been the man keeping their midfield ticking. Less eye-catching than the hyper-industrious NGolo Kante, but no less important, Drinkwater has established himself as an own-brand Sergio Busquets (Sergio Digestive Biscuits, perhaps). His passing is accurate, hes seemingly always in space to receive the ball, he breaks up play and hes a tireless runner. Fully deserves a place in Englands Euro 2016 squad for this summer. David De Gea: Man United – click the arrow above, right, to see five other players Sport magazine consider very unlucky to have missed out on the PFA awards – Retaining the Spaniard for this season has been Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodwards best piece of business, although admittedly the competition isnt exactly fierce. The 25-year-old has saved Uniteds skin many times this season. Four Premier League keepers have made more saves, but its the manner of some of De Geas stops that draws the eye: impossibly quick reactions, aided by that unique feet-first style that often sees him kicking away close-range efforts. The one member of the squad fans can trust. Until he goes to Madrid. Kevin De Bruyne: Man City – The Belgian might look better suited to the lead role in a live-action Tintin film than the hustle and bustle of Premier League football, but hes brought a fresh touch of class to a settled, weary Manchester City side. De Bruynes season has been interrupted by injury, but hes still scored 17 goals for club and country since his arrival from Wolfsburg, with six goals and nine assists in the Premier League. At his best, the Belgian can dismantle teams with Velcro-control and perfectly weighted passes. If De Bruyne is the shape of things to come at City, the future is bright. 6 6 Virgil van Dijk: Southampton – The imposing Dutch centre-back is only a couple of months too old for the PFA Young Player of the Year Award. That this comes as a surprise is testament to the maturity and leadership the 24-yearold has displayed since joining Ronald Koemans side from Celtic in a £13m deal. Van Dijk has won 143 aerial duels this season, according to Squawka more than any other defender in the league. Hes bolstered a mean Southampton defence the sixth best in the division and has scored three goals, including a last-minute equaliser against Sunderland. Toby Alderweireld: Tottenham – Defending is a lost art. A cry heard not just in this league, but around the world. A decade or so ago, names such as Maldini, Cannavaro or Bramble sprang instantly to mind when thinking of the worlds best players (let alone defenders). Now? Not so much. Yet with Alderweireld, Tottenham have been able to rely on a rock-solid, ever-present this season. The Belgian defender is a central reason why Spurs have by far the meanest defence in the league. Fine with the ball at his feet too, this is the kind of footballer you want to build your whole defence around. 6 Odion Igahlo: Watford – There are a few strikers we could pick here. It says everything about the superhuman standards Sergio Aguero sets that he has 20-plus league goals this season and its considered par. Jermain Defoes 13 league strikes have kept Sunderland afloat. However, we give Watfords Nigeria forward Igahlo the edge. Not for his 14 league goals, nor his crack partnership with Troy Deeney. No, hes here for the scoop the trick that sees his fleet footwork fool defenders and thrill fans. As Sport says to Mr Whippy in our dealings with him: one more scoop please, maestro.