Robert Bateman Secondary is set to launch a golf academy this fall.
“It’s an opportunity for kids to pursue a new avenue for their education,” Bateman principal Jinder Sarowa said. “Any time we can provide more choices and opportunities for kids while in high school, it can help them find their passion and pursue it further.
“We’re trying to keep our youth active and engaged, and in sports, they can focus on positive experiences rather than getting involved in something negative.”
Bateman becomes the third school in Abbotsford with a sport academy. Yale Secondary offers programs for hockey and baseball/fastpitch, while Abby Collegiate has an academy for soccer.
Sarowa said the school’s proximity to Ledgeview Golf and Country Club makes it a natural fit.
“We’ve had some good golfers go through our school, Adam Hadwin being one of them,” Sarowa said, referring to the local golf pro who is currently playing at the U.S. Open (see story, page A29).
“We’ve had a lot of people inquiring who are excited about the opportunity.”
Academy students will be registered in a linear (year-long) block that features a 60-40 split between classroom work (fitness/nutrition/anatomy/mental prep) and time on the golf course.
The program has partnerships with Ledgeview, Fraserglen Golf Course and Training Centre, the University of the Fraser Valley golf team, and Oasis Physiotherapy.
Kathy Stecyk, an LPGA and CPGA certified pro, will serve as head coach. She’ll be assisted by Rob Cummings, former pro and general manager at Chilliwack Golf and Country Club, and ex-Yale golf team coach Tom Hall.
The academy is currently accepting applications which will be reviewed by the staff. Criteria include the quality of a student’s grades and class attendance record, as well as golf experience.
Sarowa said the academy will be capped at 10 students.
“We really want the students to have that personalized instruction,” he said.