Julie Donli-Okoh, a former Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), on Tuesday decried the dearth of professionals golfers in the country.
She said this on the sideline of the 2023 Children’s Golf Development Clinic, organised by the ladies section of the IBB Golf Club for over 200 children in Abuja.
Donli-Okoh, who is the President, Ladies section of the club, said the idea was conceived to make the children grow up into golf-loving and golf-playing adults.
“We realise that it is easier to play good golf when you start early, as it is easier to be a professional when you start playing golf early.
“We do not have enough pros in Nigeria that can compete with other professionals all over the world.
“So we are trying to grow as many children as possible into professionals, if they so desire,” she said.
Donli-Okoh said aside from golf playing, the programme would feature etiquette learning, physical exercise, among other developmental skills, which would be useful to the children’s intellectual development.
Also speaking, Comfort Olateju, Vice-Lady Captain, IBB International Golf and Country Club, said the event was targeted at children who had interest in playing the game.
“We are doing this to encourage children and to teach them what the game is all about. We will also select some of them to play the junior open game coming up soon.
“We want them to develop interest in golfing, just like Tiger Woods, who started from a young age and has become great in golf playing,” she said.
Lauretta Okolo, a parent, said the golf clinic does not only help the children to develop intellectually, but it also provided an opportunity for them to make new friends during the holidays.
“This game is a complete game as it does not only help with their physical wellbeing, it also helps the children intellectually.
“They socialise and make new friends, and it is good that the ladies section of the IBB Golf Club has started early with the children.
“This will help them to decide early if they want to play for leisure or professionally in the future,” she said.
One of the children, Jude Chukwu, appreciated the group for organising the golf clinic, adding that the training had exposed him to new skills of playing the game and making new friends.
Our correspondent reports that the week-long event is tagged “Swinging into Greatness.”