(CTV News Atlantic, Derek Haggett) The kids at Forest Glen School in Moncton have learned a lot about golf this week thanks to their dedicated physical education teacher.
Michelle Phillips LeBlanc has created an 18-hole, multi-themed mini-putt golf course in the school’s gym.
Six of those holes were designed by Grade 3 and 4 students as a science, technology, engineering and mathematics challenge.
All week long, family members of students have been invited to the gym to play during school hours with their children.
Mrs. Phillips, as she’s known to the students, said having parents and family members come watch their kids in action is a great way to bring the community together.
“I think their smiles would say it all. It’s been really fun watching them hug and get excited and show their parents all the skills they’ve learned and watch the parents compete with their kids or grandparents. We’ve had aunts and uncles, family friends. It’s been nice for me to put some faces to names,” said Phillips LeBlanc.
The kindergarten to Grade 4 school recently enrolled in the PGA’s [and Golf Canada’s] First Tee [youth development] program that teaches kids how to play golf and learn life skills.
They received a boost from a Golf Town location in Moncton that donated putters for the grown-ups.
Forest Glen School Principal Craig Hutchings praised Phillips LeBlanc for the initiative and all the work she’s done on the course on her own time.
“She’s done an overall wonderful job working after hours. She worked long hours last weekend setting it up to make it more positive and to make it work for our students,” said Hutchings.
Hutchings said the students are overjoyed with the fun they’ve been having.
“Not only that, they get to share it with their families and their parents, their grandparents, all of their younger brothers and sisters have been in this week. It’s been a great connection to our community,” said Hutchings.
Few of the 400 students at the K-4 school have been exposed to golf before the course was set up.
“Not very many,” said Phillips LeBlanc. “They were very excited to hold a real golf club. We learned how to putt, chip, full swing and some etiquette.”
Jackie Thompson came to the course on Thursday with her son Parker.
“It’s pretty amazing. I’m just blown away by the amount of detail and everything and it’s just so cool,” said Thompson.
Thompson said the course is actually pretty challenging.
“Parker’s already beaten me on the first hole and he thinks he’s going to beat me on the rest,” said Thompson.
Grade 2 student Allissa Franklin called the course challenging, but super fun.
“When you play it, sometimes it goes the wrong way and sometimes it goes the right way. It’s fun,” said Allissa.
Her classmate Sam LeBlanc said it’s difficult to do because of all the obstacles.
“It for sure is a challenge, but my favourite part about it would be that it’s unique,” said Sam.
Principal Hutchings has had his own struggles on one of the holes.
“I did play the under the sea one and I didn’t fare very well on that one,” said Hutchings.
Michelle Phillips said some of the holes are pretty easy, but others can be tricky.
“I did have some feedback from some of the adults who were saying they felt like their golf games were pretty good, but they felt a little challenged when they came to play,” said Phillips LeBlanc. “I won’t say whether or not that was my course of the students’ holes.”
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