Special to The Explorer

The First Tee, a national program that introduces children to golf and teaches them about life, is being implemented in Marana Unified School District schools.

The Tucson Conquistadores are making it possible for First Tee implementation in 25 Marana and Vail schools.

First Tee becomes part of regular physical education classes, a release said. The national program provides teachers with a comprehensive curriculum, modified equipment and teacher training to provide "a complete golf program for today's elementary school students," a release said.

"Key objectives of the program include developing student appreciation of the positive values associated with the game of golf, and presenting golf to students as a lifelong recreation and physical fitness activity," the release continued.

"We are extremely grateful to the Tucson Conquistadores for their generous donation and for supporting the students and staff in the Marana district," said Dr. Jan Truitt, MUSD assistant superintendent. "Integrating this program into our elementary physical education setting, will provide our students a fun, safe, and effective way to enhance skills and empower healthy choices at an early age."

Twelve Marana elementary school physical education teachers are being trained on First Tee on Wednesday, Dec. 16, from 8 a.m. to noon at The First Tee of Tucson's Learning Center at the El Rio Municipal Golf Course.

The Tucson Conquistadores built The First Tee of Tucson clubhouse and learning center in 2008 after establishing the program in 2006. "Core to the program is serving children from every corner of the community, especially at-risk and disabled young people," the release said. "Their mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf."

 "We are thrilled to continue to provide funding and resources to support youth athletic programs in Southern Arizona," said Judy McDermott, executive director of the Tucson Conquistadores. "These 25 schools will join 20 schools in TUSD that have also received the training in prior years."


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