Charlie gets into golf

Sunderland teenager named regional winner of Sport England programme

Sunderland golfer Charlie McLelland, 11, has received the North East’s Sportivate Participant of the Year award for his commitment to getting involved in sport.

Sportivate, a Sport England funded programme, encourages young people who are not particularly sporty to get active.

Having played little sport before, Charlie completed introductory coaching sessions through the programme, organised by Sunderland City Council. He is now a member at George Washington Golf Club and taking part regularly.

Charlie said: “I’d never really had an interest in sport until I tried golf thanks to Sportivate. I’ve really enjoyed the sessions and they have inspired me to carry on playing more golf at my local club. I’m really honoured to have been named North East Participant of the Year and my next ambition is to play in a tournament.”

Sportivate gives 11-25-year-olds who are not participating in sport in their own time access to six-to-eight weeks’ of free or subsidised coaching in a range of sports. Once the coaching sessions are completed, the participants are matched up with a local club or venue where they can continue to play.

David Marrin, assistant director at Tyne & Wear Sport, said: “It is great that Charlie has been recognised for his achievement. Thousands of young people have already taken part in a wide range of sport sessions across Tyne & Wear and many of them have gone on to join local sports clubs and increase their activity levels, which is what the programme is all about. Continue to look out for Sportivate activities taking place near you.”

Charlie is one of more than 780,000 young people who have attended Sportivate sessions across the country with more than 650,000 completing their coaching sessions.