Scarborough native golf pro Andrew Ximines, 38, loves kids. When he sees a smile on their faces, it puts a smile on his.
His genuine nature in giving back and treating others the way he wants to be treated makes him well liked by his peers. It is no surprise that he is involved with the National Junior Golf Academy (NJGA), a youth program that uses golf to teach seven to 18 year old kids life skills.
“My background is working with kids and I love the game of golf,” Ximines said.
Ximines has been part of NJGA for two years as supervisor of the program.
He meets with the kids weekly, hanging out and teaching children the skills they need on and off the golf course.
“I think it’s a good tool for kids to learn about themselves, to learn etiquette, to learn discipline, because I had to go through that when I first started golf,” Ximines said.
Ximines’s calm, positive attitude makes him a great role model for the kids. So far, the program has 30 participants of all ethnicities, as everyone is welcome. NJGA continues to grow, with a goal of becoming a nationwide program. With sponsors on board such as Capitol One, their future looks bright.
“Every night we start at about 5:30 p.m. then we teach golf for an hour and life skills,” Ximines said. “Every kid that comes into the program has to learn to shake hands properly, to look people in the eyes and say please and thank you.”
The combination of golf and life skills training is a hole-in-one for the NJGA and it instills a value system for the youth.
Scholarship opportunities are offered to participants who go through the program helping them with their post-secondary studies.