The UGC Junior Golf Society in partnership with KIDSAFE and other schools, provides inner-city elementary school children with an introduction to the wonderful game of golf by providing the facilities, equipment, instruction and refreshments in a relaxed and supervised environment.
The idea of a "Junior Golf Society" was conceived by long-time golfer Norm Johnson. Norm played golf at University Golf Course for 70 years ... from 1936 until his death in 2006, at age 94. Golf greatly enriched Norm's life, and to show his appreciation he decided to "give something back". Norm contributed the ‘seed money’ in 2003 to get things rolling while arrangements were made to make what was then titled the ‘UGC Past Presidents Junior Golf Society’ , a registered charitable society. In 2005, the charitable society changed its name to the UGC Junior Golf Society.
With tremendous leadership from our former President, Art Charpentier, and encouragement from the executive of University Golf Club, combined with generous assistance from our sponsors and volunteers, a unique opportunity was created for inner-city boys and girls to experience the game of golf and to acquire skills and disciplines that will last them a lifetime. Vic Kusaka, the then- principal of Queen Alexandra Elementary School, helped arrange for the first outside financial support to the Society from CLICK [Contributing to the Lives of Inner City Kids] and also helped introduce the Society to KidSafe.
Our program of delivering golf instruction to inner city kids has continued since 2005. More than 500 kids have participated in the program over this period, with a hiatus during 2020 and 2021 due to Covid. Happily, we were able to start up the program again in 2022 with KidSafe in the Summer, and with Grandview elementary school. Some highlights:
- supported KidSafe and under- served elementary school children with this program starting from inception of the Junior Golf Society
- delivered golf instruction beginning in 2014 to grade 5, 6, and 7 classes of Grandview elementary school for the Fall and Spring sessions and in 2019 for a couple of years, delivered alternating sessions with the grade 7 classes of Strathcona elementary school
- regularly volunteer at the KidSafe Golf Tournament, which is normally held at University Golf Club
- donated surplus golf equipment in 2014 to BC Special Olympics and First Tee of Greater Vancouver
The Society is pleased to be able to continue providing these learning and personal growth opportunities to kids as they receive golf lessons from the UGC teaching professional, supported by our volunteers.