Twenty teenagers from around the state joined together on Saturday, October 15th to attend the inaugural First Tee – Massachusetts Teen Game Changers Conference at The Links at Mass Golf. This event was created to offer teen-aged participants an educational and social opportunity, along with a chance to get out on the golf course together. This opportunity was provided free of charge with the support of the First Tee Teen Retention and Recruitment Grant, provided by PGA TOUR Superstores.
“This was an incredible day and exceeded all of our expectations,” said Kyle Harris, Director of Operations for First Tee – Massachusetts. “The level of engagement and collaboration we saw from our participants was tremendous. They really demonstrated a desire to invest in themselves, their peers, and our chapter, and showed genuine appreciation for the opportunity that was created for them. It was a fun and impactful day, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcomes.”
After kicking off with an icebreaker to set the tone for the event, the participants heard from three speakers on a variety of topics. Leading off was Iain Highfield, Academy Director & Mental Performance Coach at KOHR Golf Center in Natick, MA. A three-time published author and multiple Golf Digest award-winner, Iain used his extensive knowledge base and dynamic personality to teach our teens strategies for mental high performance in golf and in everyday life.
Next, we welcomed Scott Haskell, Senior Sports Marketing Director for Golf at WHOOP, the wearable fitness technology company based in Boston. Scott spoke to the group about the measurables of athletic performance, the effect of stress, and the importance of sleep to our rest and recovery. WHOOP is a proud corporate partner of First Tee on the national level and has provided extremely generous financial support to First Tee – Massachusetts as well.
The education sessions were capped off by a presentation from Luis Acevedo, the Finance Director at Entegris and a volunteer with Junior Achievement. He was supported by Radhames Nova, the president and CEO of JA of Greater Boston as well. They spoke about career opportunities, financial goals, and developing a plan to pursue and fund the goals you have for your life.
After each presentation, participants gathered in small groups to debrief and discuss what they learned, then shared with the group at large.
Following these education sessions, the participants, presenters, and volunteers enjoyed lunch and then headed out for 18 holes of golf. Nine participants opted to play in a stroke play competition, won by Kyzar Joshi, with an outstanding round of 3-over par. The remaining participants played a Social Scramble, enjoying a low-stress round in great weather while forming new relationships and deepening existing ones.
On the back of this extremely successful day, it is our intention to make it an annual event as we seek to engage our existing teenagers on an even deeper level outside of class, while recruiting even more to take advantage of everything First Tee has to offer.