A report commissioned by England Golf and the Professional Golfers’ Association has found that the social benefits of golf extend far beyond the green, with volunteers having as much to gain as players.The new research into the social value generated by golf identified that volunteering accounts for a fifth (20%) of the overall benefits for society. With an average of 88 hours given up per unpaid helper every year, volunteering is responsible for £359.18 million out of the £1,800.06 million rewards created by the popular sport.What’s more, the study, carried out by the Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) at Sheffield Hallam University. has shown that the positive side-effects of volunteering are two-fold. Not only can individuals boost their own personal wellbeing but their in-kind input also adds social capital to the organisation they donate their time to. With a further £178.8 million coming from the social capital associated with volunteering, unpaid golf participation accounts for nearly a third (29.9%) of the total (£537.98 million) benefits to society from the sport.Volunteering has long been acknowledged within golf but the new report ensures the position of the 50,000 estimated golf volunteers across England is fully recognised.Nick Pink, Chief Executive of England Golf, said: “We have had a strategy in place for a few years directly addressing the needs and requirements of volunteers and this report highlights not only that our policies are working but if anything, the work they do needs to be further recognised. Whilst people are increasingly aware of the benefits of regular sports participation, this study demonstrates that volunteering can be just as important in terms of social value.“From spending more time outside in beautiful countryside to being part of a team, this latest research showcases how the feel-good factor of investing your spare time in something you love can also bring wellbeing to your larger community. It really is a win-win situation.”Golf volunteering can take many forms in both the recreational and professional game. Recreationally, volunteers undertake a wide range of roles at club, county, regional and national levels. These can range from being club captain to event organiser, squad manager, referee, junior organiser, fund raisers and administrators, to name just a few. For the professional game, it is the volunteers that make the international tours and championships the success they are both in terms of the experiences of players and fans but also the fundraising and charitable donations as a result.Robert Maxfield, Chief Executive of the PGA, said: “Volunteers are vital in safeguarding a healthy future for the sport. The PGA has long recognised the many roles volunteers carry out and the hours of time they give and it is encouraging they too receive personal reward from their involvement. PGA Professionals provide important support and enjoy a close working relationship with volunteers at many levels. This mutually beneficial relationship will only grow stronger as we all work together to promote the game and its development.With autumn an ideal time to explore new hobbies, England Golf hopes these findings will encourage potential volunteers to explore how they could boost their happiness levels and spread the benefits across their community by donating their time to local golf organisations.England Golf actively promotes golf through a range of campaigns directly targeting the consumer, including Get into Golf, Women’s Month in June and the Family Golf in July through partnerships with county unions, associations and county golf partnerships, golf clubs and volunteers.Caption: Triplets Patsy, Christine and Susan Mannion volunteer for scoreboard duty at the Men’s Home Intrnationals, run by England Golf at Moortown Golf Club,Yorkshire. (Image copyright Leaderboard Photography). Tags: PGA, Volunteer 28 Sep 2017 Anyone for golf volunteering?
SANTONIO HOLMES by Stephen D. RileyFor New Pittsburgh Courier What message did the Pittsburgh Steelers send by booting one highly troubled player while retaining another? Inquiring minds would like to know. You hold onto a guy coming off back-to-back off-seasons of sexual allegations, but trade a guy who’s coming off back-to-back seasons of drug charges. See the difference? Sex scandals and drugs often go together, but are nowhere near related. The Steelers’ front office should be prepared to be slapped with several labels ranging from hypocritical to racist during the next few weeks, but a deeper look into things reveals that justice was served in Pittsburgh.Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has committed several idiotic college freshmen-like mistakes during his tenure in “Steel town,” from sleeping with college freshmen to drinking alongside them. His internal bout over wearing a helmet the day he flew into a windshield from his motorcycle was a sigh of relief away from being one of the greatest tragedies in sports history. And his often-leaked online photo collection of drunken escapades depicts an immature leader not yet professionally equipped to handle the flood of NFL success.But while Roethlisberger has turned himself into a village idiot, ex-teammate Santonio Holmes has turned himself into a habitual troublemaker. His trade to the New York Jets for a fifth round pick wasn’t a racist reaction or a means of scapegoating the former Super Bowl MVP, but instead served as a notice that you can’t smoke weed, physically assault women and journey in and out of courtrooms and expect to continue a career with the Steelers.For all of Roethlisberger’s drawbacks, he’s never broken the law or been arrested as a member of the Steelers, and his two cases of sexual allegations involved inconsistent stories from his accusers. While Holmes has dodged jail time in place of slaps on the wrist, his March Twitter postings telling a fan to “kill urself” and it’s “time to wake n bake,” in the wake of allegations that on March 7 he assaulted a woman with a glass at a Florida nightclub, punched his ticket out of town.For those unaware, the term “wake n bake,” as defined by UrbanDictionary.com, means to get out of bed in the morning and smoke pot. While catchy, posting that on your public Twitter page goes two rights and a left beyond stupid. How do you get your name placed in the news over assaulting a woman (for the second time in his career; he assaulted his child’s mother in 2006) then less than a week later post you’re about to “wake n bake” on your Twitter page? After being suspended for a game in 2008 when a traffic stop turned up three marijuana joints in his truck, you would think Holmes would’ve been straying away from his Cheech & Chong impersonations but, alas, common sense isn’t common in everyone.The Steelers are a patient franchise, but drug use is something they don’t deal with for long. Talented tight end Eric Greene’s run with the team was highlighted by his spectacular play and marred by a cocaine habit that forced the team to release him after the 1994 season. Running back Byron “Bam” Morris was released in 1996 after a police stop turned up four kilograms of marijuana and one gram of cocaine. Holmes’ boot continues along the line of Pittsburgh’s “no drugs on your mind” rule.As long as there’s money, there will forever be sex, drugs and bad behavior in professional sports. Only one of the aforementioned is illegal and apparently only two of the aforementioned are allowed in Pittsburgh.(Stephen D. Riley is a staff writer for the Afro American.)