Leeds Sixth Form Student Wins US Golf Scholarship

When Zara Ali, a student at a Leeds Sixth Form, chose golf as an enrichment activity, little did she know she would end up winning a scholarship to study at a prestigious American University.

In 2022, the Sixth Form at Horsforth added a Golfing Academy Programme to its already impressive 90+ enrichment activities, in partnership with Cookridge Hall Golf Club. This was immediately popular with the students, who have already been successful in a number of national and international tournaments. But for one student, keen golfer Zara Ali, the Academy enabled her to hone her skills and get the training she needed to be offered a life changing opportunity to study in the US.

Oliver Watkins, Director of the Sixth Form at Horsforth, said, “Zara has an extraordinary talent, which she showed when she took second place at the recent Scottish Open. She is also incredibly committed to the sport, and proof that working hard at something you love can really payoff.”

The Golfing Academy invited Gemma Webster, professional golfer and Director of PEAK USA, to talk to students about opportunities in America. As a former scholarship student herself, she helped Zara put together the successful scholarship application to California State University Fullerton, which Zara will take up after completing sixth form in 2023.

Zara said, “This is a dream come true. I have loved golf since I was nine years old and started playing after watching my older brother who loved the sport too, but never believed I could play professionally. Thanks to the incredible help and support I’ve received from my sixth form through the Golfing Academy, this is now looking like something I could actually achieve, and it’s an amazing feeling.”

Oliver concludes, “Enrichment is such an important part of our sixth form curriculum. Not only does it help to shape the adults our students will become, but in this case it has opened the door to the potential of an extraordinary career, which otherwise may not have been possible. We will be following Zara’s progress closely and wish her every success.”

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