CARDIGAN Golf Club’s junior section has won the prestigious Wales Junior Golf Club of the Year award 2018.

The annual Wales Golf Awards were held recently at the Celtic Manor Hotel, where golf clubs from all over Wales were represented.

Clwb Golff Aberteifi-Cardigan Golf Club was shortlisted for Club of the Year at the same event for the third year running, while the junior section took top honours.

The award was for the recognition of all the hard work and effort put into the section, by the PGA professional Steve Parsons, along with the junior organiser of 20 years this year, Emyr James and an enthusiastic group of volunteers, who give up their Saturday mornings all year round to help assist them - Aled Evans, Helen Parsons, Julia den Hartog, Trevor Boyce, Brian Brotherton and Janet Merrilees.

Not only do they coach at the club but they also attend sports festivals held throughout the year at the local leisure centres, where hundreds of school children get the chance to try golf, bringing the sport out into the community and accessible for everyone, encouraging children to “Give Golf A Go” and learn to swing a club, as they would learn to ride a bike or swim.

The section achieved the Junior Golf Accreditation Higher Award as well as the Insport Ribbon Award for its inclusive attitude towards all children no matter what their circumstances or disability.

They held a charity golf, adult and child fund raising competition for 11-year-old Mia Lloyd, an amputee which was aired on Heno on S4C.

Mia along with her sister Lili will be attending the ‘New 2 golf’ program, which starts at the beginning of this month. Her brother Sam and father are already members and her mother has also begun lessons, along with seven of the other mums this year.

The main aim of the section is not only to produce winners, but also to encourage and inspire youngsters to “Get Out” and “Get Active” with their family and friends, playing a sport that will be accessible to them into adult life and well into retirement.

It is the reward for five years of hard work which has seen the club build junior membership up to 50, two thirds of whom are in weekly coaching and 14 of whom are girls – making them one of the largest junior girls' sections in Wales.

Cardigan’s Julia Den Hartog, a former winner of the Wales Golf Volunteer of the Year award, said: “To be honest we were really shocked.

“When you see a lot of these clubs, they have big driving ranges and all this technical gear, all singing all dancing and lots of pros. We are one pro with a lot of volunteers and a lot of enthusiasm.

“It is a real warm, welcoming club with a lot of kids who turn up, not necessarily to win. Winning is great but it’s a club atmosphere and they’re really enjoying it, part of getting healthy, getting active and getting out there and playing.

“Not everybody is going to get on the tour, playing professionally, we just want them to be out there enjoying it like we do.

“We have got a grant we have been awarded to build a driving range but it will take a while to get that done.

“Because our course is open all year, we don’t stop over the winter, the kids still come along and if it’s raining, we just go upstairs, move the tables and chairs, put different objects down and they have to try to hit them which focuses their putting.”