The Springfields Academy’s annual charitable Golf Day

With over 90 participants and an excess of £1000 raised, The Springfields Academy’s first annual Charitable Trust Golf Day on Saturday 9 February 2013 was a huge success, and has set the bar high for future events.

Staff, pupils and players were delighted to raise the impressive sum for The Springfields Academy and their Charitable Trust, which supports the work of the school; the outstanding SEN Award-winning residential specialist academy works with pupils who have complex learning difficulties and challenging behaviour.

Funds raised in this particular event are going towards The Springfields Academy’s ‘Extreme Classroom’ initiative, where they plan to take a group of the most challenging and disadvantaged children to a base camp at Mount Everest for The Highest Classroom on Earth in October 2013.

A crowd of players, family, friends and over 40 golf club members took to the fairways at Woodbridge Park Golf Club in Brinkworth to support of the cause. The 18-hole course is well-known in Wiltshire for its lush greens and fairways, but also for its challenges: golfers faced water hazards, bunkers and other tricky obstacles.

Whilst no-one was lucky enough this time to sink a hole in one, Sonny Saunders, a pupil at The Springfields Academy came closest and landed his shot within only four feet of the hole, in what was a thrilling day of competitive golf. Golfer, Olly Worts, powered a huge drive of over 325 yards to win the trophy for the longest drive, and The Springfields Academy team themselves, sponsored by Parent Ruth Diver, took the winning team trophy with 103 points.

Select Windows team member, Tony Bull, took the nearest to the line award, whilst Dan Pickford of the Fare saver Busses team said, “It was a fantastic day, well organised and great fun – we’ll definitely be back next year to win that car!”

The day was supported by event sponsors Chippenham Motor Company, Box Steam Brewery and TBT Ltd. Their help was instrumental with the success of the day.

Trystan Williams, Principal at The Springfields Academy, said “I was completely humbled that so many people turned up to show their appreciation and support for our cause. The Springfields Academy team put so much enthusiasm and creativity into the event and, as I expected, the entire day was a success.”

Kevin Derby, event organiser commented “it was a wet, cold and windy day, but the support received from Woodbridge Park Golf Club and all those who attended was heart-warming, and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our sponsors. Plans are already being made to make next year’s event bigger and better: we want to involve more businesses, families, and no doubt the prizes will be even more enticing.”

One of many groundbreaking initiatives of The Springfields Academy, “The Extreme Classroom” was created by Principal Trystan Williams and Alan Chambers, MBE, Former Royal Marine Commando, a renowned, determined and inspirational figure most known for his expeditions in the Polar Regions. The intrinsic belief driving this project is that pupils excel when they are challenged, pushing them beyond the limits of expectation. The unique initiative presents an opportunity for pupils to develop self-belief, overcome adversity and prove a point to themselves and others who may have written them off. Vice Principal, Jon Hamp has lead and consolidated the development of this concept since its initiation.

So far there have been two BBC documentaries covering the experience of the pupils with complex learning difficulties, on the extraordinary expeditions: The Coldest Classroom on Earth trip to the North Pole was 78 degrees north, whilst The Hottest Classroom on Earth saw the pupils, lead by Trystan himself, trek their way through an eight-day trip to the African Rift Valley, Tanzania, to the Ngoro Ngoro crater accompanied by Masai tribesmen. More of The Extreme Classroom expeditions are in the pipeline, including a climb to Everest Base Camp in 2013.


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