TAMPA BAY, Fla. — Golfers at Rogers Park weren’t just hitting shots this week, they were breaking down economic, racial and gender barriers. It’s all part of the new program, Women of Color Golf.
James Elementary School marks the first school to receive the program. For most of the girls, this was their first time on a golf course.
Coach Vasti Amaro said she wanted to teach golf to minority girls, because when she was growing up, no one was there to teach her.
“I am that little girl, those girls we are working with,” said Amaro.
Women of Color Golf drops the students off at Rogers Park right after school, where a team of coaches are ready to supply them with the equipment, clothes, and confidence to succeed.
“We looked at the statistics within the golf industry and there weren’t enough women who looked like us playing golf and that we need to start with the girls of a younger age,” said Amaro. “We’re doing everything that either the parents don’t have the economic means to do or the time to do.”
The mission of the program is so much more than just teaching girls how to pitch and putt.
“It increases their likelihood of being strong leaders as they grow older, girls who play any kind of sport not only go on to have thriving careers but they also build a strong sense of self-worth,” said volunteer Sky White.
As for these young players, they are quick learners.
Zaryah Stephens said her favorite part of the game is hitting the ball and making the shot.
While A’enice Redfield said she was surprised how big the course is.
Even if just one of these girls decides to pursue the sport on their own, it’s a big win for Women of Color Golf.
“It's not only breaking those economical, gender, and race barriers but we’re introducing the girls to a billion-dollar industry that most women of color don’t have the opportunity to see,” said White.