PUPILS from Loretto School got the chance to see one of the world’s most famous sporting trophies when the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Trophy visited their school.
The iconic trophy was taken to Loretto School ahead of the tournament in July, visiting both Loretto Junior and Senior Schools as well as Loretto new Indoor Golf Centre, due to open in time for the Autumn term.
The Scottish Open, sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management, is one of the richer golf tournaments on the PGA European Tour. The 2015 championship will be played at Gullane Golf Club, just up the road from Loretto, in July this year.
The tournament, a last chance for European Tour players to earn a spot in The Open Championship, traditionally takes place the week before The Open.
Jonathan Hewat, Director of External Affairs at Loretto School said, “There was much excitement all round and we are most grateful to Mr Alasdair Good, Head PGA Professional at Gullane Golf Club, and the European Tour for arranging for the trophy to visit Loretto. I think there were some very jealous parents that their children got to see the trophy up close!”
Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Trophy at Loretto Junior School
Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Trophy at Loretto Senior School
The Loretto Golf Academy
The Loretto Golf Academy, established in 2002, is unique amongst independent boarding schools in the United Kingdom. It offers pupils an exceptional opportunity to develop their sporting talent in tandem with a first-class, all-round education. The golf school operates from the School's practice facilities and local golf courses in East Lothian, in Scotland, and is directed by the School's resident Golf Professional, Rick Valentine, and a team of top class external coaching professionals.
The Loretto Golf Academy has had considerable success and is now widely recognised as one of the top independent boarding schools golf schools in the UK.
Scotland is the birthplace of modern golf and Loretto School, perhaps because of its superb location next to the world's oldest playing course, has a strong tradition of top level golf, dating back to its founding in 1827. The surrounding area of East Lothian offers a choice of magnificent links courses.
Over the years former pupils of Loretto have captained many of the best known clubs throughout Scotland and the UK. No fewer than seven Lorettonians have captained The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St Andrews, whilst eleven have been captain of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, Muirfield and at least ten have been captains at Prestwick.
Loretto Golf Academy Indoor Centre
The new facility is being built within the school’s former swimming complex and is expected to open in time for the start of the Autumn Term..
Comprising an indoor driving range, short game facility to include chipping, pitching and putting, putting analysis, and indoor teaching studio complete with video analysis and Trackman as well as much more besides the centre should reinforce Loretto’s status as one of the top golf facilities of its kind in the UK, whilst also providing an invaluable practice resource for its pupils.
The centre will offer golf to all 600 pupils at Loretto through PE, games and activities. The Golf Academy’s development pathways start at 5 years old and allow pupils to develop their game as they progress through Loretto School. The centre will also improve the coaching and practice facilities for the 50 strong development and senior squad players, offering them the best possible support to take their game to the next level.
Jonathan Hewat, Director of External Affairs said, “The golf academy at Loretto is a hugely significant project for us to cement our place as the No.1 golf programme within the country. It’s going to be excellent for all the pupils at the school: girls, boys, and particularly the younger ones.
“It’s also going to cement our links with the Scottish Golf Union and, as well as that, be a terrific resource and facility for the whole community.”
It is expected the new centre, which will enable golf practice throughout the year, will quickly become the very best indoor golf facility in Scotland and the best schools’ facility of its kind in Europe. It has been developed in partnership with the Scottish Golf Union and is fitted with all of the latest hi-tech golf equipment – including Trackman and putting analysis system– to provide the most accurate analysis and information for the players practising there.
Rick Valentine, the director of the Loretto Golf Academy, added: “We need to continue to develop year on year to make sure we stay at the top of schools’ golf and leading the field. This is both in regard to the programmes we are delivering but also the facilities we have on offer to our pupils.
“One of our main focuses at the moment is to increase the availability of golf to all the pupils at the school, to really deliver golf for all. This is really important as we move forward, especially with our younger pupils, to introduce them to a sport that they can be participating in for the rest of their lives.
“To work with the Scottish Golf Union on an indoor training centre that is going to benefit the pupils of Loretto but also Scottish golf in general is a very exciting experience.”
One of the many reasons for the development of the indoor centre is the lack of adequate indoor facilities in Scotland and that is something that has previously been identified by the Scottish Golf Performance Director Steve Paulding.
Under the terms of Loretto’s partnership with the SGU, Paulding’s squads will be able to use the centre to practice, which he is delighted about.
“Indoor facilities in Scotland are severely lacking, certainly compared to other countries with similar climates, so the fact that Loretto is putting in a facility like this, where we will be able to be in partnership and access it, is fantastic for Scottish golf,” he said.
Former Women’s British Open champion Catriona Matthew is impressed by the plans for the new centre and commented: “To have more indoor facilities here would be fantastic and is a great benefit to get people into the game, particularly in the winter. It’s a great opportunity and I wish I’d had that when I was younger.”
Set in a leafy campus just outside Edinburgh near East Lothian's coastline, Loretto provides an all‐round education for around 630 boys and girls – boarders and day pupils ‐ aged 3‐18. The School is made up of two parts: the Junior School ('The Nippers') for children aged 3‐12, and the Senior School for those aged 12‐18.
Founded in 1827 as Scotland's original boarding school, Loretto is well known for its relaxed family atmosphere, traditional values and emphasis on the development of the whole person, mind, body and spirit.