A new era in T&T golf was ushered in last Wednesday with the election of Wayne Baptiste as the new president of the T&T Golf Association (TTGA).
The former vice president was elected unopposed, along with secretary Krishna Samai, public relations officer (PRO) Kalam Sookoor and junior coordinator Simon Hosein at a virtual annual general meeting (AGM) and election of officers. They will serve a two-year term that will end in July 2023.
During that time, however, Baptiste said he will work on a search-and-development programme for young potential golfers as well as other initiates to stem the loss of female golfers from the sport as seen in the recent past.
The previous executive of which Baptiste was a part, began remedial work of the sport that will set the pace for a brighter future, Baptiste told Guardian Media Sports: “I think the sport of golf is heading in the right direction. I was the vice president last year and I worked with a great team. What we actually did was to strengthen the governance of the association by looking at strengthening the inclusiveness of member clubs, the relationship of member clubs, and I am seeing a bright future if we continue in that direction,” Baptiste explained.
According to the new golf boss: “As a leader, I would like to see the organisation move forward in a positive direction and in doing that, we have to watch how we manage the organisation as it relates to a strategic plan, a development plan, an operational plan that drives the association. When we examine the economic situation and also the expenditure for national teams and development programmes, we have to sit back and examine what direction we need to take in steering the organisation forward, but presently, if we continue in the direction that we’re going, my main focus will be the development of junior golf. Together with introducing more females into golf, and leadership and managerial positions in the organisation, I think that’s the direction we will be looking at.”
Baptiste is convinced that his organisation will have the task of unearthing new talent and developing them on its own if it wants to have players to stand out on the local, regional and international stages for both males and females athletes.
“If you want to get future national players, we have to develop them. We have to go out and find them at the schools, in the communities and develop them into players. Proper structure and processes, so that these players can develop into elite players, and from elite players, they can go on to top regional and international players, and this is the whole concept of taking the organisation forward.
We have observed over the last few years that we have lost a lot of female golfers and as such we are looking at formulating a structure where we can encourage females to get back into the sport. One of the things we’re looking at is asking all member clubs to adopt a school close to the golf courses where the T&TGA can work with them to see if we can encourage more female golfers to train and develop them so that we will have a bigger group to chose from for national trials and national team building.”