Crestomere School has a brand new golf program, and to help give it a kick start, physical education teacher Todd Lewis asked for donations of golf equipment from the community, receiving a resounding response.
“It’s amazing how quick people are to donate and give,” said Lewis.
“When I originally put out the call for donations on Facebook, I expected maybe two or three bags of clubs and a few balls. I was floored by the response we got: over thirty bags of clubs and counting.”
The program is a few weeks old, and came about because Lewis, who has been the PE teacher at the school for five years now, was trying to come up with more individual-based activities due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“I was forced to think outside the box,” he said.
There wasn’t much funding available to start up a new program, but Lewis says, “Luckily, we have generous and caring people in our community who were eager to donate to the school.”
Donors came from Ponoka and area, Bentley, Rimbey, Sylvan Lake, Bluffton, Bluffton landfill, the Ponoka Golf Club (PGC) and Crestomere.
The Bluffton landfill donated five bags of clubs and a few dozen balls, and the PGC donated some much-needed balls as well.
Lewis personally sanitized all the equipment before student use.
“Our students are having a blast using the clubs and I’ve heard many say that they want to continue golfing on their own time,” said Lewis.
“Because of the donations, there are kids that will become golfers who otherwise might not have.”
Currently, Grades 5 to 9 are practicing golf in their PE classes and Lewis hopes to include younger grades as soon as he can track down more junior clubs.
As the students are golfing during school hours, the program is currently only open to Crestomere students.
As for space, they’re using the land surrounding the school, where a driving range has been set up for the kids to practice their shots, and then retrieve the balls.
Chipping stations have also been set up around the Wilson ball pits.
Students have been working on chip shots and full swings using a variety of irons, woods, and drivers.
“Most of our students are very new to golf so we’re developing basic skills at this point.”
Lewis says he’s extremely grateful to all who donated, as it gives his students an opportunity to try golf.
“Like all sports, I think golf can be very impactful. It’s an activity where a person can devote his or her time, effort, and passion and, as a result, grow as a person.
“But before that can happen, people have to try the activity once or twice — I’m thankful our donors have given the students that chance.”