Duke of Edinburgh Cup Bahamas offers a new experience for youngsters
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — When Makelia Moxey arrived at the Ocean Club Gulf Course for the start of an Atlantis golf clinic, she couldn’t imagine leaving with a new iPhone 13 courtesy of Aliv.
“I was shocked. I was very proud of myself. I tend to get lucky by the Lord, but this is the best prize I have ever won,” the 16-year-old said. from CC Sweeting Senior High.
The rising Grade 12 student was one of 70 Governor General’s Youth Awards (GGYA) participants who flocked to the 18-hole, par-72 championship course, spanning 7,100 yards on Paradise Island to take full advantage of the free lesson offered on Saturday [June 25] by Class A golf professional Mike Simms, Ocean Club’s Director of Instruction.
The experience was part of a weekend of activities affiliated with the 20th Duke of Edinburgh’s Cup Semi-Finals Charity Golf Tournament in the Bahamas. It was held last Sunday under the patronage of Governor General Sir Cornelius A. Smith and Lady Clara Smith in conjunction with Atlantis, Paradise Island.
Proceeds from the event go to the GGYA fund, the name by which the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is known in the Bahamas. Hundreds of registered participants work in 38 units on seven islands with more than 100 volunteers helping to power the program open to people aged 14 to 24. Each participant in the Prize learns a skill, must improve their physical fitness, volunteer in their community and experience a team adventure in an unfamiliar environment.
Saturday’s Golf Clinic came about as Atlantis looked to do something different to mark the momentous anniversary of GGYA’s biggest fundraising initiative.
“We wanted to introduce an element that brings students into the tournament itself and gives them exposure to golf that they might not have had before,” said Viana Gardiner, vice president of public affairs and special projects. at Atlantis.
“We also thought participants could use the time to complete their physical activity component of their program.
“In addition, we had the opportunity to interact with golf professionals and Atlantis executives. All this for the benefit of their personal development. As many positive seeds as we can plant there, that’s what we want to do.
The youngsters enjoyed the session – along with the incredible greens, spectacular views and pristine fairways.
Golf pro Simms maximized tee time with an overview of the basics: ball position, alignment and how to complete the golf swing.
Yet there is not much that can be taught in a single lesson.
“Learning a golf swing takes time and you should never rush. You should always get professional help when you start. It’s really essential if you want to play well,” he advised.
Simms kept it fun and for Moxey, parts of the lesson stuck. She didn’t score a hole-in-one, but she came close, earning her first place in the friendly but fierce competition that crowned the golf clinic.
“We have so many world class athletes who are Bahamian – in basketball, in baseball. You never know where the next Tiger Woods might come from.
“It could have come from the Bahamas, and it could have started right here at the Ocean Club Gulf Course this morning,” Gardiner said.
Second and third place finishers Prishae Smith of CC Sweeting and Raphelita Hanna of Kingsway each received two passes to Altantis’ popular water park, Aquaventure, which features thrilling slides and other attractions.
GGYA participants Hallel Dixon and Ian Davis didn’t win any prizes, but it’s still a rewarding experience for both.
“It was something new for me. I was excited when I heard about it. I really wanted to get out,” said Dixon, a twelfth grader at Kingsway Academy. “After that, I think I might try golf.”
Davis, who graduated from St John’s in 2022, echoed a similar sentiment.
“It was my first time playing golf. I thought that was wonderful. It is a fun and relaxing sport.
According to GGYA National Director, Jacquetta Lightbourne-Maycock, the award is about inspiring young people to discover their potential and find their purpose, passion and place in the world. This involves broadening their horizons.
“Ninety-nine percent of them had never played golf before this experience. It was a first for them. This is one of our main goals, to support non-formal education that values young people as individuals. This golf clinic has undeniably challenged young people to discover something new.