THE GOLF Union of Wales is starting a new Welsh Junior Tour to encourage young players of all standards to take part in some fun competitions building to a national final.
The new initiative will include mixed events at Under 8, 10, and 12 age groups, separate boys and girl’s competitions at Under 14 level, with four regional events allowing players to qualify for the Welsh Junior Tour Finals in the Autumn.
The four regional events will be held in Mold, North Wales, Carmarthen, West Wales, Lakeside, Mid Wales and Virginia Park, South Wales, with the final at former European Tour and Solheim Cup venue St Pierre near Chepstow. Entries open February 1.
“This is an exciting new competition which will combine participation with development, the growing junior initiatives of Golf Development Wales, the Coaching Centres Programme and the work at many clubs meant we needed to add this opportunity,” explained GUW chief executive Richard Dixon.
“Children of all standards can play, children with disabilities can compete on level terms, and this new Tour will be both fun and competitive. “It is open to anyone born in Wales, with Welsh parents or grandparents, who lives in Wales or is a member of a golf club affiliated to the GUW.
“The only people not allowed to enter is anyone with a handicap of nine or lower at the start of the year, because we already run competitions at the elite end to cater for those players.
“There is no need for an official handicap for the younger age levels, which will be played over shortened nine hole courses appropriate for their age. They will score at least one point on every hole in a modified Stableford scoring system, which also rewards the lower scores.
“In the U14 categories players must have a competition handicap which means 28 or less for boys, 36 or less for girls or a disability golf handicap of up to 54. They will play an 18 hole competition under normal Stableford rules.
“The top three players in each category will receive a prize at every event.
“There will also be skills challenges running alongside the competitions which will cover long game, chipping and putting which should provide extra fun as well as being a good way for players to see how different parts of their game are improving.
“We hope this initiative will provide a real boost and focus to the development of the game for younger golfers in Wales, offering them a target of a fun, national competition as they learn and improve.”
The Under 14 competitions will be under the normal rules of golf but the younger age groups will have some additional rules to help them, such as a free drop after three attempts to get out of a bunker and picking up after 10 shots while still scoring a point on the card. Players with a disability can play under appropriately modified rules.
Parents or guardians must accompany children at the events. The detailed rules for Welsh Junior Tour events can be found on the ‘specific’ and ‘general’ conditions sections of the entry form.
To get more information about the 2016 events including dates and venues go to the Event List and Information page in the Welsh Junior Tour section of the GUW web-site (under the championships heading).
Players can choose which events they wish to enter (players may enter as many as they like) by going to the entry forms and on-line entries page in the Welsh Junior Tour section of the GUW website (under the championships heading).
Entries can be made on-line or by printing out and posting or emailing the completed form to the GUW offices.
The U8, U10 and U12 categories cost £5 per event to enter and the U14 categories £10 per event.
Scarlets’ grassroots clubs show community spirit in delivering vital food packages
Scarlets community clubs have been working together to help deliver vital food packages across the region.
Volunteers from grassroots clubs and WRU girls hubs across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire have been helping take the food packages to vulnerable members of society who are self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The clubs have teamed up with the Scarlets Community Foundation — the charity arm of the Scarlets — and Carmarthen-based food wholesaler Castell Howell, while Scarlets players Osian Knott, Kieran Hardy, Ryan Conbeer and Jac Morgan have also lent their hand to the operation.
More than 300 packages were due to be delivered on Monday and Tuesday (April 6 & April 7), with the initiative highlighting that even without any action on the field, rugby clubs remain at the heart of their community.
Scarlets Community Foundation manager Caroline Newman said: “We have been overwhelmed with the support that we have received from local clubs, the number of people prepared to volunteer to help the most vulnerable in our communities has been touching.
“People’s reasons for requesting packs have often been heart-wrenching and it really has made us appreciate what we have.
“The foundation has worked closely with Castell Howell to make sure the packages are ready to go to those whose need is greatest, managing to turn things around pretty quickly and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen, our funder, Castell Howell, all the clubs, our helpline volunteer and the foundation members.
“Great teamwork which has made me proud to be part of the fantastic community that rugby creates.”
Here are the rugby clubs and WRU girls rugby hubs taking part in the initiative
Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Amman Utd, Ammanford, Burry Port, Betws, Bynea, Cardigan, Cefneithin, Felinfoel, Fishguard & Goodwick, Furnace Utd, Haverfordwest, Kidwelly, Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llandybie, Llanelli Wanderers, Llangennech, Llangwm, Merched Mynydd Mawr, Milford Haven, Narberth, New Dock Stars, Newcastle Emlyn, Neyland, Penybanc, Pontyates, St Clears, Stradey Sospans, Tenby Utd, Tumble, Tycroes, Whitland, Yr Hendy.
Wales v Scotland postponed
WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.
The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.
A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.
“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.
“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.
“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”
Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended
THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.
The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance.
The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate.
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