Botchett aces volunteering
An advocate for junior development across the country, Enid Botchett has been promoting programs like Golf in Schools and CN Future Links for years.
Morgan Bell/ Golf Canada
Published on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 04:52PM EDT Last updated on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 10:55AM EDT
For Enid Botchett, life certainly hasn’t slowed down since retiring after a career as an elementary school principal.
Since her retirement 13 years ago, she’s became one of Golf Canada’s leading ambassadors for various programs.
A devout golfer herself and a past president of the Alberta Golf Association Botchett is quick to jump on any opportunity to help support the development of our nation’s young golfers.
After spending a career in the education system one program seemed to align perfectly – the Golf in Schools program presented by Callaway.
“The ‘Golf in Schools’ program was just a natural because I understood school culture and I still had school contacts,” she said via telephone. “I kind of knew schools from the inside and then of course all my contacts I had made when I was doing more executive work just came into play when I was trying to promote the program.”
Having spent so many years within school walls, Botchett embraced the program she felt delivered great values to elementary school students.
“I think it demystifies golf and breaks down another barrier of perceived elitism,” she said. “In some cases, golf hasn’t been available to people for many reasons but now it’s great that everyone at the elementary school can be part of this program.”
Adopting a School
The ability to spread the word about Golf in Schools wasn’t where Botchett stopped.
She adopted two schools herself through the ‘Adopt a School’ program and also helps anyone looking to find a suitable program to adopt.
“I’ve had people who’ve wanted to buy the kits in honour of someone who has passed away,” she said. “If they don’t know a school or don’t live nearby one, I will help find a school as I still have contacts and I can see which teachers or principals are really keen on golf.”
As a thank you to a friend, Botchett adopted one school in honour of Karen Rackel, a former Golf Canada president. She did it not only as a thank you but also hoped that Rackel’s involvement in golf would encourage more young girls to believe they can achieve great things like the National Sporting Organization’s first female president.
Furthermore, she also adopted another program in her hometown of Gretna, Man., in honour of Dorothy Hildebrand, a golfing friend of her mother’s. She presented the kit to the local school and did a demonstration with the students and representatives from the local nine-hole golf course.
2013 CN Canadian Women’s Open
Recently Botchett was approached about being the tournament chair for Canada’s National Women’s Open Championship next year in Edmonton. At first she was completely flabbergasted to have been selected.
“I thought about it for a while,” she said. “This is such an honour and a once in a lifetime opportunity, couldn’t say no. It was too good, I kind of just jumped into this with joy.”
Being familiar with Golf Canada’s tournament operations has certainly helped Botchett in organizing an event of this magnitude as she’s become very comfortable with the process after many years of volunteering.
Always an advocate for junior development, a big part of Botchett’s excitement can be attributed to her ability to reach out and help junior golfers, as the CN Future Links Junior program is a large part of tournament activations in Edmonton.
“The opportunity to give inspiration to the GIS, Future Links and Girls Club kids through the wonderful program on Tuesday [Future Links Day] was great,” she said. “The fact kids can take their parents free on that day, participate in the skills challenge, ‘Walk With a Pro’ and then attend every other day with a paying adult is just huge.”
Looking ahead but not too far
With only 10 months to go until the 2013 CN Canadian Women’s Open Botchett will certainly be a very busy lady.
“Bringing it all together will feel great,” she said. “That aspect of everybody having done their part and knowing it’s worked because you’ve had a single goal in mind to make a successful event.”
Botchett hopes to see many of the LPGA’s best at Royal Mayfair in August, and more importantly young stars like Brooke Henderson and Lydia Ko. Both players, she believes, serve as terrific role models to the all the youngsters on site.
For now though, Botchett is just enjoying the journey.
“[Volunteering], it’s not my entire life but I think it’s really enriched me in so many ways that I’m actually grateful to have these chances to give back as long as it has value to others,” she said. “Then, it will have been worthwhile.”
For more information on how you can become part of the Golf in Schools program please click here.
For more information on the CN Future Links program please click here.
For more information on the 2013 CN Canadian Women’s Open click here.