Nick Dougherty launches national fundraising drive

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Play your way to Wentworth and support Unleash Your Drive in schools
Posted on
March 27, 2024
by
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Nick Dougherty was at the House of Commons on Monday, presenting and showcasing the Golf Foundation’s mental toughness programme Unleash Your Drive in Schools. The initiative, which launched in September 2023, is seeking to change the face of mental wellbeing among young people via their introduction to the game, with nine mental toughness tools embedded across six weeks of fun golf games.

Dougherty, the Sky Sports presenter and President of the Golf Foundation, is spearheading the campaign, and today’s event in Westminster was the latest step in the drive to get golf into every school in GB&I. With the right funding, the Golf Foundation is looking to provide fully funded kit and resources to schools in areas of high deprivation, in order to help them deliver the programme.

As part of this, fundraising is vital to the cause. Every UK golfer is being asked to support ‘Unleash Your Drive in Schools’ via a special competition.

Thanks to the DP World Tour and Wentworth Club, the Golf Foundation is offering every UK golfer the chance to sign up and ‘Play In May’, for the opportunity to play in the BMW PGA Championship Pro-Am at Wentworth. The competition has 40 places on offer in the Unleash Your Drive Final at Wentworth Club in August, and the winning three players on the day will earn a spot in the Pro-Am event in September.

The #PlayInMay support (a £5 donation must accompany every round played) will help the Golf Foundation’s bid to extend the reach of Unleash Your Drive to every school in the UK. Five years in the making, this mental wellbeing initiative is already creating exciting results since its launch, with over 500 schools having signed up to deliver sessions so far. Early results have indicated a 20% increase in mental toughness among pupils on the programme.

“Mental toughness is important because all of the research tells us that mentally tough youngsters do better academically, career wise and perhaps most importantly in terms of their overall life happiness and resilience,” Dougherty said at the event today. “We believe all golfers who have themselves benefited from golf would be happy to help us to increase the confidence and resilience of our youngsters through Unleash Your Drive. That is why we are asking them to Play in May and make a small donation to create a massive national benefit for young people and the wider sport.”

Dougherty presented the early findings of the programme as well as launching the Play In May initiative as part of the special day at Westminster. An audience of 100 guests included MPs, educators, golf administrators, players, volunteers, media, and a co-host for Dougherty in the shape of Young Ambassador Ryka Verma, aged 16, who is a shining example of the work that the Golf Foundation and England Golf do together with their joint Junior Strategy.

While the Golf Foundation charity enjoys support from valued core funders and the Home Nations, Dougherty explained that Unleash Your Drive in Schools is a highly ambitious undertaking in terms of scale, and thus the charity needs a little support from all golfers. He is encouraging every golfer in the UK to take the opportunity to get involved in this chance to celebrate the game we all love by getting out to Play in May.

At the end of May, the top 30 players on the Unleash Your Drive leaderboard will qualify for the golf tournament hosted by Dougherty on the West Course in August – while there’s a draw for all those who didn’t qualify, both with and without an official handicap. To find out more, visit www.golf-foundation.org

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About The Editorial Team

The editorial team at Golf Today strives to provide readers with captivating content that celebrates the rich heritage and exciting developments in the world of golf. Their collective expertise and dedication ensure that Golf Today remains a premier destination for golf enthusiasts seeking the latest news, insightful analysis, and engaging stories from the world of golf.

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