Trainees from Rising Star Juniors (RSJ), a unique golf academic programme for youths from disadvantaged backgrounds, attended a special golf clinic by junior golf stars Bryan Teoh Wiyang and Natasha Oon.
The RSJ programme, established by the prestigious Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC), is fully funded by Sime Darby Foundation (YSD) in collaboration with MST Golf Sdn Bhd, the operator of KLGCC Golf Academy.
Bryan, 14, and Natasha, 13, spent half-a-day with the 18 RSJ trainees to share their experiences, knowledge, skills and tips through various activities from hitting at the driving range to putting at the greens. Both junior golfers are beneficiaries of YSD which has sponsored their participation in various golf tournaments worldwide.
Having learnt some neat tricks from Bryan and Natasha, the RSJ participants were split into two groups. The two teams then competed in a mini putting tournament where they put their training by the duo to the test, and Team Natasha came out tops.
“I love the challenge of the game very much and it is a great opportunity to be a part of RSJ,” said trainee Ezza Najihah Mohiddin, 16, from Pertubuhan Kebajikan Anak Yatim/Miskin Klang.
“It has given me a chance to realise my dreams of becoming a golfer. I also hope the programme will continue to garner interest from the public so that we will have a thriving junior golf community in future,” said Ezza, who had worked hard to improve her swing and chipping techniques.
Adrian Pang Chun Keat, 17, another RSJ trainee from Shelter Home for Children, said, “I am very grateful and proud to be a part of RSJ and being able to pick up the sport. I want to enter the golfing industry one day, whether to play professionally or manage a golf academy.”
“I think this is a great programme by YSD for underprivileged youths to learn golf. We are happy to be able to give back to the community and teach my new friends here how to love the game and have fun!” said Natasha, who started playing golf at the age of four. She idolises golfers Jordan Spieth, Lydia Ko and Annika Sorenstam.
“This is my first time conducting a golf clinic for a group of young trainees. It was definitely a fulfilling experience for me to share my knowledge with them. Seeing their enthusiasm during the clinic gave me hope that someday golf would be embraced as a sport for all,” said Bryan, who is a big fan of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Spieth.
Sime Darby Foundation chairman Tun Musa Hitam said, “The idea behind RSJ is to give opportunities to underprivileged children to learn and play golf, even though this sport in general is still considered an elite sport.
“We hope Bryan and Natasha have truly inspired our trainees to believe that they have the capabilities to become young professional sportsmen and women, as well as to create a better future for themselves.”
KLGCC general manager Steven A. Thielke said, “We are delighted to play host to these enthusiastic young hopefuls as well as the amateur champions, Bryan and Natasha, who were very keen in sharing their insights and know-how to help these children develop into well-rounded individuals.
“We certainly hope to host similar engagement sessions in the future as part of our continuous effort to groom our RSJ trainees to become professional golfers someday.”