Teeing off: left David Garner Business Consultant ROCBF and Lee Bromley
Golfer Lee Bromley had one goal in mind as he launched his new business in the valleys of South Wales – to inspire newcomers to the sport he loves.
The pro golfer, who started his career in Zimbabwe during the early 1990s, believes teaching people the popular leisure activity can help them make positive developments across other areas of their lives.
After serving as both president and vice president of the Zimbabwe PGA, he began working as a pro at a club in Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa.
It was there that Lee realised the potential for his sport to help youngsters in all areas of their life.
Lee explained: “There was a settlement right by the club and there were literally hundreds of children who were watching, hanging around trying to get the golf balls.”
He set up an initiative to get the kids playing and was surprised by the profound effect his favourite sport was having on their lives.
“The feedback after six months was that the children’s grades were up, their behaviour had improved, and they weren’t missing school either.”
Altogether, 3,500 children have benefitted from his foundation’s work in South Africa, but Lee said the scheme lacked backing to see it develop further.
Now he is transferring his teaching skills to golf courses and schools in South Wales.
He acquired start-up funding from the Start Up Loans Company (SULC) to get his idea off the ground. The £7,500 in start-up funding was delivered via the Robert Owen Community Banking Fund (ROCBF).
He purchased SNAG (Start New at Golf) equipment, a colour-coded system of clubs developed in the US to get kids excited about golf.
Since launching his business Lee has linked up with four golf clubs in the Caerphilly area – Ridgeway, Blackwood, Bargoed, and Mountain Ash – and is now developing links with local schools.
He is starting to coach 120 children at Hendredenny Primary in Caerphilly and also Penrhys in Rhondda Cynon Taff.
“This is a real opportunity to help children in the area and I hope schools, clubs and other organisations will want to get involved with SNAG,” Lee continued.
“The more academies there are, the more newcomers will be empowering themselves and becoming the best they can be.”
SULC is part of a UK Government initiative to stimulate enterprise in Britain and has provided £230 million of funding to thousands of UK businesses.
ROCBF is one of the bodies charged with delivering these start-up loans in Wales and has lent £1.5 million to 200 businesses in Wales in just over four years.
David Garner, business consultant at Robert Owen Community Banking Fund, said: “We were very impressed with Lee’s experience and knowledge of golf and his desire to help others improve their lives through this marvellous game.”