They raced back and forth in their single-file lines, rapidly relaying multi-colored discs like a kid’s kaleidoscope.
Breathless but buoyant, the group of 30 boys and girls were then put through the paces of proper stretching and other exercises, learning along with leaping.
The kids took part in the Meijer LPGA Junior Clinic at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Belmont, Michigan, one of several events surrounding the Meijer LPGA Classic at Blythefield Country Club this week. Staffed by Spectrum Health’s sports medicine athletic trainers, the three-day kids’ clinic was just one of the ways Spectrum Health is supporting the week-long golf tournament.
Spectrum Health is supporting the tournament in a variety of ways, from representatives playing in the tournament’s pro-am on Wednesday, to supporting skin cancer awareness with an exhibitor booth at the four-day tournament, which wraps up Sunday. All told, nearly 50 Spectrum Health employees volunteered at the events this week, including physicians on call at the tournament, should the need arise.
“The Meijer LPGA Classic is a great event for West Michigan, and a chance for Spectrum Health to help make our communities a little healthier,” said Janelle Logan, Spectrum Health director of community engagement. “It’s been a terrific week – running the sunscreen station, supporting the junior clinic and most importantly, helping support the mission of the event, the Meijer Simply Give program to fight hunger. We’re proud to be a part of it.”
That enthusiasm was echoed by Megan Snow, supervisor of sports medicine at the Spectrum Health Medical Group, and one of 10 trainers on hand for the junior clinic.
“This is an exciting thing for us to be involved in,” she said. “All of our staff here are outreach athletic trainers. We’re in 21 schools in the area, and we try to make a huge effort in community health and reaching the communities of the schools that we work in, and educating them, so this really helps add to that.”
Snow said with the wide variety of ages at the clinic, it was important to focus on some simple steps to better golf fitness—and focus on fun, too.
“It’s been great, we’ve had a lot of fun with the kids,” she said. “The age group is really varied—ages 6-12—so we really try to keep it fun. We have a couple of games, warm-up games, then take them through some basic movements—touch your toes, stretch your quads—do some swings through your torso to get your hips loose. We also focus on some strengthening things, push-ups, sit-ups. Core strength is important for any athlete, and golf is especially important to have a strong core, to try and reduce the back issues that can happen in golf.
“Hopefully they’ll take a lot of that away, and have a good time doing it.”