England Golf Trust young ambassador Kai Williams aims to inspire and encourage other junior BAME players to take up the sport
Kai from Bedfordshire began his journey with the England Golf Trust at the age of 13 when he applied for a grant and was awarded financial support for coaching and equipment. This subsequently led him to champion diversity and develop the confidence to speak out.
How did you get into golf? I lived close to a golf course and my mum encouraged me after a friend told her about its junior golf programme. I’ve been playing for 11 years and I’m now a member of Beds and Country Golf Club with a handicap of 10.5
Why did you become a Young Ambassador? I first heard about England Golf Trust when I was awarded a grant to buy a driver. Later, I heard about their Young Ambassador programme on social media and thought it would be a great opportunity to work closely with the Trust and other juniors who were passionate about golf. I also thought it would give me a platform to share my experiences and ideas. I wanted to let other kids know that golf is an amazing sport and that playing it can open doors and allow you to meet new people, make new friends and visit some exciting places.
What are the benefits of being an Ambassador? I am passionate about improving diversity in this game and making golf more acceptable to everyone no matter their background or current circumstances. The role has given me a platform to speak about this. I’ve also enjoyed the responsibility that comes with the role. I am vice-junior captain at my golf club and I’m involved in team selection and leadership.
What have you enjoyed most about the role?
The increased voice and presence the role has given me on social media which means that I can speak out and engage with others. One of the highlights was being interviewed by Jamie Weir, a Sky Sports news presenter. He asked me about the lack of BAME role models in the sport, other than Tiger Woods, for young golfers to aspire to be. Sky Sports came to my club to interview me about this and as a result of this I was also interviewed by other golf magazines.
What are your experiences as a BAME golfer?
My experience has been good and I love seeing more and more BAME players at my club and when taking part in junior open competitions – but I would still like to see the proportion increase much higher. However, I would love to see more taking up the sport and am happy to be the voice promoting this. Indeed, I’ve seen an increase just in this last year alone and I love that.
How has being an Ambassador helped you and what’s next for you?
It has also improved my confidence when talking to others and public speaking. I’m also busy doing my Duke of Edinburgh award and learning sign language as a new skill as part of this. Meanwhile, I’m also improving my golf and trying to get to a single figure handicap player by the end of the year.