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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Promise to live the Creed 1.9

This week we want to highlight one of Optimist International's growing youth sports programs and what better way is there to do it than to recognize the veteran junior golf chairperson from the Vancouver, BC Optimist Club: Harry White.

Harry has promised to live the Optimist Creed this year, and every year. He says his favorite line of the Optimist creed is "To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own." He goes on to explain: 

"This is a particularly good fit for junior golfers as in the Optimist Junior Linkster Tour program we have ages 4 to 18 (Optimist International golf is age 9-18) and all level of player take part, with the more experienced and skilled golfers take on the role of mentor to the younger "grass roots" beginners. And, the converse has also proven to be the case, with highly skilled younger junior golfers, providing inspiration to the older players with their significant achievements at golf. Children enjoy the ancient and honourable game - and it is because it is fun.  Northwest juniors all report what a great time they had and fun!

Optimists in Vancouver, BC became involved with junior golf in 1979 when our Club was asked to organize a competition to qualify golfers to compete in the Optimist Junior World Golf Championship, held annually in San Diego, California, at the Torrey Pines GC and other San Diego area courses. Optimist volunteers in the area would provide housing and transportation to the golf courses. This was a great success and impacted the interest in junior golf in B.C. and the Northwest significantly. Tiger Woods started playing in the mid 1980's and provided another boost to Optimist Junior golf and golf in general. The Optimist Junior World Championships saw growth from 300 players to over 600 players and the challenge of Optimists to keep up grew increasingly difficult. In 1993, Optimist International decided to conduct their own 100% Optimist International Junior Championship and began play in Florida in 1994, where the competition has remained ever since. (The Junior World event in San Diego continues also but with other sponsors). Junior golfers from all over the Optimist world qualify and take part yearly in both events, with Optimist International also operating a special "Optimist Champions" event in November, annually, and other satellite events in the Spring time. I highly recommend that each Optimist Club promote the junior golf opportunities there.

The link to Optimist International Junior Golf at http://www.optimist.org/e/juniorgolf_delete/about1.cfm  has video and other information that puts out graphic evidence of children having fun and enjoying the unique Optimist junior golf program."

It's easy to see that Harry has a passion for the Optimist Junior Golf Program and the Junior Linksters. Our thanks go to him for his leadership throughout the years. When tournament dates for 2017 are solidified, they will be shown on this website. 

If you want to share how you have promised to live the Optimist Creed, please email a photo here.

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