The Revelstoke Golf Club has been selected as the recipient of the Community Leaders Bursary, an annual award is given out by the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of BC. It is designed to recognize “leaders in the golf community exhibiting qualities such as volunteerism, selflessness, passion, and dedication to the game.”
The awards ceremony is being held October 10th, 2018, in Vancouver and Revelstoke Golf Club’s Dean Jackson, General Manager and Director of Golf, and Chance Beardsworth, Associate Professional, will be there.
What makes the honour extra special is that the Revelstoke Golf Club never applied for the grant, they were selected regardlessly because of the unique and inclusive junior program Jackson has been instrumental in creating.
“We launched the program in the spring of 2017,” Jackson says. “Every kid who is eighteen and under and who lives in Revelstoke gets a free membership to the golf club.”
Prior to the program’s creation, the club had sixteen junior members. Since the program’s launch, the number has climbed to nearly 150.
“It was important for the club that once we offered this program, we would keep it for a minimum of five years,” says Jackson. “It’s been so well received that right now there is no end in sight. A lot of our juniors are eight to twelve years old. Junior members must play accompanied by an adult until they are thirteen. So we want to see those kids learn and grow until they are able to play solo, at a minimum.”
For Jackson, it was equally important that the club not compete with parent dollars, already stretched thin in a community with an abundance of activities in which to enroll their children.
“I felt it was important to get kids to the club and show them how fun and supportive the golf community is,” he says.
In addition to the free membership, all junior members can access free lessons on Monday evenings from 5:00-6:00 pm during May and June.
“Kids don’t need clubs or gear,” Jackson enthuses. “They just need to bring a water bottle and show up.”
Jackson, who has been a member of the PGA for twenty years, nominated Associate Professional Chance Beardsworth for the Junior Coach of the Year. Beardsworth has already won the regional award and will be up against four other regional winners for the Provincial award in Vancouver.
“It’s important to acknowledge hard working people on your team,” Jackson says. Beardsworth was very involved in running the junior program, ensuring the kids had fun and learned. His willingness to engage the kids included donning a velcro suit, complete with target, while the juniors shot tennis balls at him.
As for the thousand dollar bursary the club has been awarded, it will be put to good use.
“We can stretch that money pretty far,” Jackson says. “It can be used to upgrade the junior clubs; we want to have clubs in every size.”
Congratulations to Jackson and everyone at the Revelstoke Golf Club and good luck to Chance Beardsworth. Be sure to check back at The Current to find out how the awards night played out.
If you have a youngster interested in golf, or want to learn more about the club yourself, check out the revelstokegolf.com