Littlestone Golf Club in New Romney has achieved the SafeGolf club accreditation from England Golf and becomes the first club in Kent to do so.
The SafeGolf is a partnership of UK golf bodies committed to promoting a safe and positive environment for all those participating, working and volunteering in the sport of golf.
Littlestone has two 18-hole golf links courses, The Warren and The Championship Links which, in 2020, will host The R&A Junior Open. The club has received the SafeGolf accreditation by demonstrating its commitment to safeguarding children and young people, as well as adults in risk in the sport of golf.
Founded in 1888, this top 100 links course has seen its share of prestigious tournaments and welcomed the great and the good into its membership with Lord Balfour, Lord Asquith and Noel Coward among its most famous alumni. The club has hosted Open Final Qualifying on five occasions and is both excited and proud to have been chosen to host The R&A Junior Open next year.
The Championship links course at Littlestone Golf Club in Kent
The club has grown from strength to strength in recent years and, with a full membership, is one of a handful with an increasingly long waiting list. In the past few years, Littlestone has taken golf outside of the club and into five local junior schools where the professionals offer free lessons to the under 10s, many of whom have gone on to join as junior members. It has also seen great success with the Girls Golf Rocks programme that it has been running for the past two years and offers weekly group coaching sessions and school holiday coaching weeks open to all under 18’s.
Littlestone’s Director of Golf, James Cunliffe PGA, who has led the club’s push to SafeGolf, said: “Littlestone is a great club. It’s very friendly, welcoming and forward-thinking and has a great attitude towards promoting junior golf. This award helps us to spread that message and to tell people that children and vulnerable adults are safe and secure here.”
The award was presented to Littlestone by Allison Boozer, England Golf’s Club Regional Support Officer. “I’m delighted that Littlestone has achieved SafeGolf and that its efforts to grow the game can be nationally recognised. This is the first club in Kent to achieve this status and is a shining light for other local clubs to follow. “
Along with Littlestone, the Kent Golf Union is also accredited with SafeGolf and is only the second union in England to have achieved this status. The secretary of the KGU, Sarah McDonald said, “We are thrilled that Littlestone has achieved SafeGolf. We want Kent to lead the way in ensuring those who play and work in our county do so in the knowledge their union and golf clubs are committed to providing the safest and most positive golfing environment.”
The SafeGolf partnership consists of members from the golfing bodies across Great Britain & Ireland and has been established to help golf respond to the issue of child protection in sport. Its mission is to safeguard the welfare of children and young people, as well as adults at risk, in the sport of golf.
SafeGolf is firstly a website (www.safegolf.org) through which anyone with a concern about the welfare of a player or the behaviour or practice of a coach, volunteer, organiser, parent or a player, can contact the lead safeguarding officer at their national governing body.
Secondly, it is the safeguarding standard England Golf will promote to all their affiliated clubs to ensure all clubs provide a safe and positive experience to children and young people whilst playing golf. The PGA is also using the standards to apply to all its PGA professional Coaches.
Find an accredited coach at www.safegolf.org. Coming Soon, a full list of clubs and facilities that uphold the standards of SafeGolf which will also be housed at www.safegolf.org.