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Champions Challenge, April 27, 2015
Golf: First Tee of ENC to put on Champions Challenge
Published: Monday, March 30, 2015 at 05:20 PM.
The First Tee of Eastern North Carolina leaders continue to find ways to grow and spruce up the program.
The First Tee program is working to put together one of its biggest events – the Champions Challenge, set to take place at 9:30 a.m. on April 27 at The Emerald Golf Club in New Bern.
The challenge is for bragging rights, of sorts, for elementary schools in Craven, Pamlico and Jones Counties.
“This event allows the kids who are getting it in gym to show what they are learning, as far as the skills. This is the biggest thing we’ve done since we’ve been in existence,” said George Brooks, Program Director for the First Tee of Eastern North Carolina.
The First Tee golf program was initiated into area elementary schools nearly three years ago. It’s used as an after-school program and in-school program to teach kids about core values through golf.
They will take to the course for one day in late April to showcase what they’ve learned.
Six schools will participate, and the physical education teachers from each school will select seven boys and seven girls to compete.
“We have nine activity stations,” Brooks said. “It will be them using the equipment they use in their gym classes. We will have chipping areas, putting areas and they kids will rotate through and accumulate points.
“It’s very intense. It should be fun.”
Medals and awards will be given to the top three boys and girls in each event, along with an honor for the top three schools.
Last year, four schools challenged. Brooks is expecting more students, more schools, more events and more volunteers.
“It’s a one day challenge where they compete. There are more kids and schools involved this year. The ones with the least amount of points will win,” Brooks said. “I think they love it. When they come out to the golf course, they are excited that they were picked to be in the Champions Challenge.”
While the goal for the kids is to win the challenge for their school, the First Tee initiates nine core values –perseverance, responsibility, respect, courtesy, honesty, judgment, confidence, sportsmanship and integrity.
More than 80 volunteers coach these kids at area golf courses – The Emerald, Carolina Colours, River Bend, Harbour Pointe and Carolina Pines.
The First Tee is looking forward to continuing its growth, and trying to add schools from Pitt and Carteret Counties.
“I think the program is going pretty good. We just added a couple of new schools and a couple new golf courses,” Brooks said. “I’m very surprised at how well-behaved the kids are. They listen well, and each time they come out, we give them two different core values.
“We will talk about that before we get started.”
Adam Thompson is the sports editor at the Sun Journal. He can be contacted at 252-635-5669. Follow Adam on Twitter @Adam_matic.