Youngsters who attend dedicated coaching programmes not only develop skills in a specific sport, but they see improvements in their overall fitness levels, according to the head instructor at the Butch Harmon School of Golf at Dubai Sports City.
On-going debate about the negative impact modern-day sedentary lifestyles have on children’s health and fitness, has led to widespread calls within the UAE for more time to be dedicated to physical activity within a child’s normal day.
Sports experts at Dubai Sports City are fully behind the move, commenting that children may be more encouraged to get fit if they are taking part in a coaching programme aimed at training them to become first-class sports players.
“Youngsters often find going to the gym uninspiring, but taking part in dedicated sports coaching programme, such as in golf, allows them to train to become first-class golfers, while at the same time improving their general fitness levels,” commented Claude Harmon III, director of instruction at the Butch Harmon School of Golf.
“Our programme works on flexibility, strength and balance. People think learning to become a first-class golfer is just about the swing, but it’s not. It’s about developing as an athlete too,” he added.
Fitness levels among children are noticeably affected by too much time spent watching television and sitting at school desks. Out of 60 students attending the school’s Junior Development Programme which began earlier this month, just 20 percent scored highly on five specifically designed tests used to determine physical fitness for golf.
The tests performed on all students aged between five to 16 years old include an overhead squat, bridge leg extensions, torso rotation, pelvic rotation, and single leg balance with the eyes closed.
“Body conditioning is a key element of the programme. We teach the students to control their bodies, and through the gym sessions, we restore their flexibility and strength,” said Harmon III, the son of Butch Harmon, leading golf coach, who is widely regarded as the best in the world.
As part of the six week programme the students participate in a 90-minute training session every week that involves one hour in the gym doing strength, stamina, and balancing exercises, followed by a 30 minute golfing lesson.
The Butch Harmon School of Golf in Dubai is located at The Els Club golf course in Dubai Sports City and is part of the Dubai Sports City Academies Campus. The next Junior Development Progrmame starts on November 22.
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