The Clubroom has chipped in to help young golfers from a small rural Bay of Plenty town who, up until now, had been teeing off in basketball boots, hoodies, and using borrowed clubs.
Bayleigh Teepa-Tarau, Pedro Robinson and Lincoln Reneti’s story hit news headlines earlier this month when the Taneatua golfing trio won the 9-hole team competition at the Zespri AIMS Games in Tauranga.
Twelve-year-old Bayleigh, who had only ever played three games of golf in his life and has autism, claimed the title of the 9-hole competition with an impressive 87 stableford points from three rounds on his own.
Coming from a small town that doesn’t have a golf course and without any clubs of their own, the trio’s story has spread far and wide since the AIMS Games and the community has rallied to help.
Tauranga-based business Waiotahi Contractors bought Bayleigh his own set of clubs after his big win. Now, his teammates Pedro and Lincoln have also been donated a bag and clubs each by The Clubroom, as well as new caps and golf balls.
After being presented with their new gear, Pedro said he was “super grateful” to have been given the opportunity to play with “actual golf stuff”.
“We are ultra excited.”
He said it would make his golf “11 times better”.
Taneatua School teacher in charge Te Ahuru Waititi said they had been “pretty overwhelmed” since returning from the AIMS Games.
“We don’t know what to think about all of this. We keep thinking that we have to give it all back. It is an amazing feeling.”
She said it had been a “full on” few weeks and she was blown away by everyone’s willingness to support the boys and the school.
“We are just so grateful. They love sharing their story and they want to keep playing. It has given them a true love for the game,” she said. “It is the pathways and the positivity that has opened up for them.”
Te Ahuru said before this they had been borrowing gear from their teacher aide Whetu Wiremu,
“They didn’t have tees, gloves, shoes, they just had their school tracksuits.”
The Clubroom Tauranga director Hayden Beard said it was a privilege to be able to donate some gear to the boys.
“It is neat to see the boys have such a positive attitude towards golf. After hearing their story, The Clubroom was more than willing to help out by donating some gear in the hope of creating a pathway for the boys to continue their passion for golf now and into the future.”