TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A program that uses golf to teach children good character traits and healthy living habits received a boost of support Thursday.

The Vigo County Health Department awarded a $25,000 grant to First Tee Indiana in greater Terre Haute.

Aboiut 10,000 kids in Vigo county are participating in the First Tee program through their school’s physical education classes or during summer golfing programs.

The local program began in 2020 and serves grades K-8 in Vigo County schools and at St. Patrick’s School.

Those involved with First Tee say golf is so much more than just a sport.

“It’s about friendship,” Program Facilitator Mike Harding said. “That’s what I take away from it. Forming lifelong friendships. This is not something you quit, just like fishing, you can do it forever.”

Six golf centers and five community centers are partnering with the program to provide the game of golf to children.