This past January, 22 kids ranging from age 12-18 came to Rich Harvest Farms to participate in the 2009 Solheim Cup Standard Bearer Interviews. Site Coordinators nominated program participants who they felt most exemplified their organization and the Kids Golf Foundation’s mission. Nominations were collected in October of 2008, and applications were sent out the following month. Finally, candidates and their parents and guardians were invited to attend the interview session, in order to be considered.
“Creating a standard bearer interview session allowed our Foundation to challenge the nominees,” said Holly Alcala, Foundation Director. “Our Foundation uses golf to teach life lessons and values. Interviewing and presentation skills are certainly part of those life lessons.”
The Kids Golf Foundation has several responsibilities in the 2009 Solheim Cup, one of which includes providing standard bearers for the tournament. A standard bearer is an individual who is in charge of carrying a standard (sign) and/or updating the score for each player or team in a group for the benefit of the spectators who are watching play. Standard Bearers walk inside the ropes with tour professionals and alongside an adult walking scorer.
The process for determining the final Standard Bearers was challenging because not only were there a limited number of spots, but the majority of the participants were excited, personable and thus outstanding candidates, which was made clear at the interview session.
During the interview session, the participants traveled in groups of two or three through four stations, where he or she was scored on various skills such as his or her personality, ability to present themselves in front of a camera, knowledge of scoring a match play competition and more. The participants also had to practice carrying the 15-pound standard.
“Michelle prepared for today by quizzing me on Solheim Cup history, and we talked a lot about it. Her mom also had her carry weights in a backpack around the house!” said Tony Mann, father of Michelle Mann.
During the kids station rotations, parents and guardians gathered for a meeting outlining the Standard Bearer’s role in the Solheim Cup, as well as other important information. Aside from asking questions, parents expressed their appreciation for the experience.
“As parents, we are just honored that he was nominated, even if he doesn’t get chosen,” said Carla DeYoung, mother of Ross DeYoung.
The selected individuals will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in the most prestigious international match play competition for women.
“Going through this process will have a significant impact on them in that it will raise their level of thought and contribute to a more positive self-esteem and their self-confidence will be enhanced.” said Anderson Smith, DuPage AME Site Coordinator.