THE Prime Minister told graduates at the Chaguaramas Development Authority's junior golf programme prize-giving ceremony that the sport of golf – which he once was not a fan of – is the greatest sport in the world that builds character and helps players to learn from failure.
Dr Rowley was speaking at the Chaguaramas Golf Course in Chaguaramas on Friday where a total of 70 students from Carenage Boys Government Primary School, Diego Martin Girls Primary School and Point Cumana RC School received medals.
During the programme, the students were trained in basic golf techniques such as grip, aim, alignment, stance and posture. A participant from each school was given a special award for their outstanding performance in the programme. They included J'Quan Warner of Carenage Boys, Nyomi Roberts of Diego Martin Girls and Kiwani Quamina of Point Cumana RC.
Rowley said when he was younger he dabbled in sports such as football, cricket, squash, badminton, tennis but only when he got older he decided to play golf. "When I was a real sportsman I was invited to play golf, I thought that was quite an insult...I told my friend, 'You must be joking. That is for allyuh who can't play real sport.'"
Rowley said his mindset has changed completely about the sport. "I will join (former golfer) Arnold Palmer in saying that golf is the greatest game ever invented by man, because I have been around many sports and I can tell you that golf is the greatest game.
"What makes it that? It makes it the greatest game because it is a character builder in the way no other sport is."
He said golf is similar to life. "If you play golf from now until the end of your life, no two shots will ever be the same. It is like life. Everything that comes to you, you had better be prepared to deal with it because it has a little difference to what happened before. (In golf) the wind might be blowing a different direction, the grass might be a little deeper...all kinds of things are never the same."
Rowley thanked the organisers for giving the children the opportunity. "I want to thank all those people who would have made your presence here this morning a part of their agenda and a part of their programme to give you this opportunity, and I say thank you to all of them."
Chase Patterson of Carenage Boys, speaking about his experience said, "We need the opportunities and experiences for us to grow. I am sure that I speak on behalf of all participants (by saying) we had fun in a beautiful environment. I can only hope that we can move on to the next level. Thank you for the wonderful experience."
Also speaking at the ceremony were CDA general manager Deowattie Dilraj-Batoosingh and deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs Marcia London-McKellar.
Carenage Boys students Elijah Johnston and Shaqueem Gomez showed their other talents, playing soca song Savannah Grass by Kees on the steelpan.