FOR the first time in its history, five junior golfers from Grow Well Inc. will head to Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday to participate in a major tournament dubbed the ‘Caribbean Junior Open’ which tees off on Monday and ends on Wednesday.
On Tuesday morning, the five young, aspiring and energetic golfers were presented to the local media during a press conference held at the Saint Lucia Golf and Country Club in Cap Estate.
The squad includes sixteen-year-olds Samuel Richelieu, Quai Jones and Rayshorn Joseph, who will compete in the senior boys’ category. The lone female in the squad is Lisa Daniel, who will battle it out the senior division. Thirteen-year-old Keymanie Thomas will compete in the Under-14 category.
While in Trinidad, the golfers will be under the watchful eyes of Grow Well Inc.’s Treasurer and golfer, Andrew De Verteuil and Youth Coordinator, John Bruce.
The Grow Well Inc. golf programme started six years ago with the help of the Saint Lucia Gold Club and its experienced Gold Pros. Golf has become a favourite in Grow Well’s offering of after-school activities to encourage healthy, disciplined and educational pursuits for under-served youth in the Gros Islet community.
“We build their self-esteem, provide healthy choices for personal advancement and opportunities to benefit the community approval and applause,” Collen Newman, Grow Well Inc. volunteer, co-founder and director of the Golf Programme said.
She added: “The Saint Lucia Gold Club supported us from the onset and management and staff have welcome Grow Well’s youth as part of the family. On the spacious tourist bus which transports them from Gros Islet and in the luxurious Club House, they are made to feel they belong.”
This lifetime experience was made possible through the sponsorship of The Oliver Gobat Sports Fund and support of friends of Gros Well Juniors here and abroad and the participation of highly- trained coaches, some of whom volunteered their services to prepare the Grow Well team for the Trinidad trip.
De Verteuil said: “I was very concerned about the cost for an event like this, so we tried very much to economize along the way. I am happy to say that all the funding was raised early on. Our main sponsor, TOGF, and friends of Grow Well gave nice contributions and donations and they prefer their name remain off the record. The overall cost to Trinidad and Tobago is in excess of $15,000 which does not include clothing and gear.”
“Golf gives me a lot of self-respect and patience and does not feel intimidated playing with the boys,” the lone female in the squad said. “I am excited about the trip to Trinidad and I am looking forward to the tournament and will be giving it my best shot. Apart from this junior tournament, I will look to continue playing and also improve on my game.”