The Seve Ballesteros Foundation and the Aladina Foundation have created a facility dedicated to golf for children and teenagers suffering from cancer at the Gregorio Marañon Hospital in Madrid. This project helps children with cancer while in the hospital.

The facility has been created on five balconies situated on the third floor next to the Oncohaematology Paediatric Ward of the Maternity and Children’s Hospital in the medical centre. Every Monday and Tuesday morning a golf teacher from the Seve Ballesteros Foundation with the help of volunteers from the Aladina Foundation teach the youngsters. The children admitted into hospital can enjoy golf classes and some recreational activities in the open air. There are areas dedicated to golf on artificial grass divided into mini golf, short game, long game, games, playing area and a sitting area. There is a wide array of materials, specially designed for all ages to learn while at the same time creating a safe environment for the children and their families.

This is the second facility of this kind supported by the Seve Ballesteros Foundation at a hospital facility. After one was built at Marqués de Valdecilla Hospital, Santander, this facility in Madrid is the first intended specifically for oncologic patients.

Jesús Rodriguez, head of the golf program fostered by the Seve Ballesteros Foundation said: “On this second project the Seve Ballesteros Foundation has established a learning scheme to help young patients have fun whilst learning to play golf. We are very enthusiastic about this new project in Madrid. We look forward to sharing time with the young patients and their families during their visits or stays in hospital”. 



Jesús Rodriguez durante la inauguración del Parque Infantil del HUMV.

Jesús Rodriguez during the official opening of the children’s playground at Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital

The Seve Ballesteros Foundation offers the opportunity to introduce golf to children undergoing treatment at Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital in Santander. Golf is part of the entertainment of young patients at the Pediatric Oncology Unit and is used to make children’s stay more bearable.

The Foundation supported the building of the new playground facility at Marqués de Valdecilla Hospital, an area of 230 square meters of which 79 are dedicated to golf. It is an area of artificial grass, which can be adapted and used for different activities. The playground also includes swings, table football, table tennis and a playing area.

The Foundation also collaborates with Buscando Sonrisas, the non-profit organization behind the building of the playground at the Hospital. The project “Cure with a Smile” offers golf classes to pediatric patients at the Psychiatric Outpatient Unit, where the benefits of playing golf have been found to be very positive.

Both the young patients at the Oncology Pediatric Unit and the ones at the Psychiatric Unit of the Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital have different activities and games. Santiago Carriles, who collaborates with the Foundation and is specialist in this way of teaching, is the golf teacher at the Hospital. The idea is to introduce children into golf through games such as putting and chipping competitions. There are also other types of activities such as crafts, drawings and trivial pursuit questions through which children can learn more about the game of golf.

Santiago Carriles junto con voluntarios de AMARA, asociación de padres de niños con cáncer de Cantabria, en el HUMV.

Santiago Carriles with voluntaries of AMARA Association of parents with children suffering from cancer in Cantabria at the Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital

All activities take place within a safe environment and materials used (clubs and balls are made of foam, plastic materials and velcro) are in line with the premises of the facilities, age and golf level of each child.

The aim of the Seve Ballesteros Foundation project is to attract children into golf in an interesting and motivating way so that they can benefit both physically and emotionally.

Source: Diario Montañés