Last Friday Tracey Crouch MP cut the ceremonial ribbon in front of the 1st tee to formally declare Lordswood School's par-27 9-hole footgolf course open.
Tracey was joined at the ribbon-cutting ceremony by UK Footgolf Association representative Richard Brown; Chatham Town F.C. manager and former Northern Ireland international Kevin Horlock; Kent #1 footgolfer and Lordswood School PE teacher Karl May; and pupils from Wayfield Primary School and Lordswood School itself.
After congratulating Lordswood School on leading the way with this sporting initiative and gently challenging the assembled schoolchildren to become the next great Kent footgolfers, Tracey carried out her formal opening ceremony duties at the 1st centre of learning in the South of England to open a footgolf course on its grounds.
Once Tracey had cut the ribbon, she found time to show off some neat footgolfing skills of her own en route to viewing the cleverly designed 8th hole, a.k.a. 'The Moat', at close quarters.
"Footgolf combines two incredibly popular sports in football and golf," Tracey said. "If you have got the ability and accessibility to do it, I think everyone should try it.
"It's clearly great to have footgolf on a school site like Lordswood School in the heart of the community, and I hope it encourages more people to get involved."
Tracey added: "It is always nice to see both boys and girls participating in sport, whatever sport that may be. It's great that footgolf is a sport people can get involved with regardless of age or gender.
"That's the reason why footgolf is one of the fastest-growing sports, if not the fastest-growing sport in the UK."
Horlock was in agreement with the Minister for Sport on the potential growth of footgolf, with the former Northern Ireland player - capped 32 times by his nation - stating that "footgolf should really take off, and it's only going to get bigger and bigger. It's a great game for those that don't want the physical side of football."
"We at Chatham Town F.C. will be playing a lot of footgolf, as it helps your technique, decision-making, and shot selection. Hopefully, we will get better players from it."
UK Footgolf Association regional development manager for Kent Richard Brown personally thanked Ms Crouch "for formally opening Lordswood School Footgolf and lending her support to this groundbreaking course in the South of England".
"I look forward to inviting Ms Crouch for a full round of footgolf at Lordswood School and to discuss the development of footgolf in the county in more detail once the minister, of course, returns to work after her maternity leave," Brown added.
The previous Saturday, head of school Jayne Lusinski and her on-site team, including 2016 FIFG World Cup-bound May, opened the doors to Lordswood School Footgolf to the local and wider community.
Lusinski's ambition through footgolf is to not only increase the school's "links with our partner schools in The Griffin Schools Trust and across our consortium, but to also improve our links with the local community and businesses."
"The children at Lordswood School can aspire to a talented individual among our staff, supporting their teacher Mr May in Argentina at the World Cup in January."
Despite the at times dreadful weather conditions, over 70 footgolfers took up Lordswood School's invitation to play a 'Round for a Pound' during the public open day.
Among those trying out Lordswood School's course for the 1st time the weekend before last were Kent Sport's Sophie Ward, Medway Sport's Mark Roughsedge, Lordswood F.C.'s Paul Caulfield, Wigmore Youth F.C. U12s, all 4 Kent-based international footgolfers (Karl May, Steve Baker, Chris Anderson, Dan Spice), 2 Kent county players (Dan Ambrose, Darren Hadlum), and UK #2 female footgolfer Hayley May.
During one of the busiest morning periods of the open day, Sutton-at-Hone footgolfer Daniel Sinfield found time to post an excellent 18-hole tally of 46 (-8), which proved to be the best score of the day.
Lordswood School Footgolf is now open for business on Saturdays from 9am - 1pm. To play 9 holes of footgolf at this venue, adults and juniors pay £5. To play 18 holes of footgolf at this venue, adults pay £10 and juniors pay £5.
To book a round at Lordswood School Footgolf, please call the course directly on 07973 482987 or visit the course's landing page on the UK Footgolf Association website.