Forget the Ryder Cup, here comes Lee Westwood Golf Final

There was excitement and nerves at the start of this year’s Ryder Cup 2014, and we are all hoping Europe can make it a hat-rick of victories this year.  But, here at BASTF, there is another reason to be excited about.  Through weeks of sheer hard work and competing, Isha Chhatwal qualified for the Lee Westwood Golf Final, which takes place on Monday 29th September in Newcastle.

We wish Isha all the best for the competition – and she has kindly given us a little insight into the build up, enjoy readers.

It’s been a really busy week with lots of homework, daily practice sessions with dad and fitness training. All in anticipation for the big day on Monday!

I spent the summer holidays competing on the Lee Westwood tour, taking part in several Opens around Kent and Sussex. The competition was tough and the courses even tougher but I managed to qualify in the u21 category.

I was ecstatic when I got the news but daunted by the fact I would now be facing a further 60 qualifiers from around the country in the national final.

I’ve been practicing on several areas of my game for about 1 ½ hours every day. Coupled with this has been cardio and core training at the gym to strengthen my back and overall balance.

I set off on Saturday to Newcastle – a 6 ½ hour car journey with my dad! The planes and trains were working out too expensive so we opted for the car – we’ve got a lot of excess luggage – my golf bag and trolley plus suitcases – so it makes sense to travel by car.

I’m not putting pressure on myself but I obviously want to do well – whatever happens the experience will be invaluable and I get to meet one of my golf heroes – Lee Westwood!

I’ll keep you posted on the journey and send some pics from Close House – so keep your fingers crossed for me – not for Monday but the car journey with my dad without a radio!!!

My sporting journey – the passenger’s perspective!

This weekend one of our Future Champions ISHA Chhatwal won the Gillingham Golf tournament against a large number of entrants.  ISHA’s dad and co-founder of BASTF gives us an insight into how he has helped his daughter, a wonderful upcoming talented golfer, develop and flourish.

It has not been like the M25 – long and boring, but more akin to a stretch on the GT road into the Punjab – never straightforward, lots of dips and bumps, but extremely rewarding sights along the way as the journey unfolds.

From the onset my daughter demonstrated a very mature and calm personality. She had natural hand eye coordination and upper body strength – some of the essential instruments for many sports but especially the game of golf.

She excelled at many school sports such as netball and rounders, but it was my biased influence on Isha that steered her towards golf. I knew my passion for a particular sport would ease the burden of early starts and a dwindling bank balance! No offence but I couldn’t see myself getting up in the early hours of the morning to prepare for a ballet competition!

Even with this passion the journey has been arduous. The regimented schedule, daily golf lessons with some upto 2 1/2 hours away and the onus on the parents to set an example i.e losing weight and keeping fit! How can you preach to others if you don’t practise them yourself! But with specified and realistic goals being attained it has all been worth it.

Normally the only Indian child, let alone Indian girl, partaking in the competition, things can be intimidating and often brings attention amongst the existing members! However, I have always instilled in my children that sport is the platform to showcase your talents and breakdown age-old barriers and stereotypes. This philosophy has come true on so many occasions, with other golfers making the effort to congratulate her on an amazing shot or a tournament victory and often a bit of friendly banter at the bar afterwards with a drink bought by them!

I have enjoyed the trips made to tournaments and practice sessions as it has allowed me to spend quality time with the kids, talking and discussing everything golf. Visiting different clubs, learning the etiquettes of the game and be members of a local club has given them self-confidence and opportunities to converse with a variety of people of differing ages.

But it has all come at a price – it’s been very expensive. But then I ask the question – in real terms has it been? Well, you do the maths.

Keeping your children occupied in an activity that challenges them physically as well as mentally as opposed to sitting in front of the television or playing electronic games.

Socialising with like-minded people in a competitive environment as opposed to playing on the streets, unsupervised and prone to a multitude of sins.

Spending quality time and getting to really know your kids – amazing memories, funny moments, some lows but ultimately the best high you can get!

Huge Thanks to Davinder for sharing his thoughts on his journey so far.