Home  |  About  |  Programs  |  Scholarships  |  Photos  |  News  |  Videos  |  Support NJGA  |  Contact

Inner City Kids to Get a Boost from the Canadian Professional Golf Tour

March 3, 2005 -- The Canadian Professional Golf Tour and the National Junior Golf Academy today announced a benchmark partnership that will use golf to improve the lives of youth living in economically challenged areas across Canada.

Kingsley Rowe, President of the National Junior Golf Academy, and Canadian Tour Commissioner Richard A Janes made the announcement at Toronto City Hall.

“Today’s announcement is an important achievement for our organization,” said Rowe. “The Canadian Tour has expressed an incredible enthusiasm for our program and we’re confident that the Canadian Tour’s involvement can benefit the kids on so many levels. The discipline of golf provides our youth with many lessons and provides lifelong tools which can help them in their future endeavors.”

“The Canadian Tour is delighted to lend its support to the National Junior Golf Association for two very important reasons,” said Janes. “We can demonstrate our support at the community level in a real and tangible way, and because programs like this assist building healthy communities.”

“Our role as the Canadian Tour is to enhance the programming developed by the National Junior Golf Academy including the provision of our members as role models, where possible, to assist in the development of clinics and to create opportunities for young people to attend our events, to participate in these events as volunteers and ‘to get inside the ropes’ of professional golf.”

Rowe, a Toronto businessman, started the National Junior Golf Academy in 1999. The NJGA is a volunteer non-profit organization that has established a program in which inner city youth learn the life lessons of integrity, respect, honesty, decorum and etiquette through the rules of golf. Since its establishment the program has taught over 250 youth in the Jane-Finch area and plans to expand to other areas in the near future.

Canadian Tour deputy Director Dan Halldorson, a two-time PGA Tour champion and member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, stressed the program is not designed to produce the next superstar in Canadian golf but to strengthen communities.

“We are giving these children an opportunity to learn the basics of the game while at the same time teaching them life skills,” said Halldorson. “The goal here is not to produce great players, but great citizens. This is a chance to introduce these young people to a sport that they otherwise may not experience.”

The Canadian Tour is the nation’s premier circuit for touring golf professionals, boasting a membership of more than 200 players from Canada, the United States and around the world. Most of Canada’s top golfers have played on the Canadian Tour, including 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir, Dave Barr, Ian Leggatt, Ray Stewart, Rick Gibson and Halldorson. Several international stars, among them Chris DiMarco, Stuart Appleby, Steve Stricker and Hank Kuehne, have also spent time on the Canadian Tour. The top 25 Tour graduates have earned more than $150 million US on the PGA Tour.

The Toronto Department of Parks and Recreation have supported the program from day one, donating the use of the Driftwood Community Centre. “This is a wonderful program which began in our City and can root itself in others with great success,” commented Joe Halstead, Commissioner of Parks and Recreation.

In an effort to raise funds to facilitate the growth of the National Junior Golf Academy, a golf tournament will be held on Sunday June 5, 2005 at the Angus Glen Golf Club.

“The National Junior Golf Academy is a great program that can help city youth build the confidence they need to pursue their goals in life,” said Toronto City Councillor Brian Ashton, Chairman of the inaugural NJGA Best-Ball Golf Tournament. “It is a honour to be able to be involved with the program.