Wednesday, 14 September 2016

A welcome at Royal Birkdale for a royal visiter

Local people will have noticed a lot of police activity around 'the hill' next to Greenbank school. Dog walkers -hopefully fully equipped with their poop and scoop bags- were re-routed to allow a VIP guest to land in a helicopter. The Deputy Lord Lieutenant from Southport Michael Braham  and I were waiting to welcome Prince Andrew to Birkdale where he was hosting the Duke of York's Young Champions Trophy.

This international competition is in its 16th year. The tournament sees 55 of the world's most talented young male and female golfers take part in a 54 hole stroke play tournament. Former champions include Rory McIlroy. 

It was interesting to see how wide the net was cast to recruit players.: New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico, Russia Sweden, Switzerland. Thailand, South Africa, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Trinidad to mention just a few. I also learned about the challenge of getting visa correct, a complication had led to one contestant missing the tournament. I wonder if that is something were are all going have to get clued-up on?

Michael and I also learned from the Prince's staff (or DOY as the call him), about the work of the DOY's charitable trust. I was particularly interested to find out how they got their jobs. It turned out they were publically advertised. We met a young graduate who had gone there as an intern and six years on is still there having been offered a job after finishing her internship.

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