BGGA Student-Athletes Receive End of Year Awards

Anna Chen and Julian Perico

It was a record-breaking year for Bishops Gate Golf Academy (BGGA) in terms of the number of students attending the Academy and the great results and improvements on and off the course.

“We’ve had a fantastic year,” said BGGA CEO Andrew Summers. “I couldn’t be prouder of the success of each one of our students with progress in their academics, golf skill and character development. We pride ourselves at BGGA on developing well rounded student-athletes and strive to bring out the best in each student.”

“This year has been a success,” said BGGA Director of Golf Kevin Smeltz. “We try to improve every year. We have a great group of coaches. They are dedicated. They care about the kids. They are really passionate about their career and combined with that they’re collaborative and want to learn from each other.”

As the academic year comes to a close, it’s a time to celebrate student success.

As voted on by the BGGA Coaches and Student Care team, here are this year’s award winners:

Player of the Year – Based on performance stats

Julian Perico

Anna Chen

Julian is a character and has a lot of pizzazz,” said Smeltz. “He loves playing golf and hitting different shots. He has a flair for pulling off the difficult shots. That’s an attribute of a champion.”

Anna has been at BGGA for a couple of years, and she does all the right things,” said Smeltz. “She came in as not the best player, but did the right things by practicing really hard and setting goals. Her results are the fruits of her labor.”
Academic Excellence Award – Highest GPA

Tracy Lee

Greg Shen


Athletic Excellence Award – Based on attendance, work ethic, commitment and dedication

Claire Jeon

Brett Inserra

Claire has made great strides since her early days at IJGA,” said BGGA Director of Health and Athletic Performance Karen Harrison. “In particular, this year her commitment and dedication to her physical self-improvement was impressive. She did not miss sessions, her effort level in class was high and she even sought advice on daily nutrition. She has morphed into the ideal student who is developing into a good young athlete.”

Brett has made excellent gains in strength and flexibility this year,” said Harrison. “He consistently stays after fitness to stretch and work on his mobility, and it has paid off. Brett has shown a lot more maturity and dedication and has grown into a good athlete and fine young man.”


Citizenship Award – Makes a difference in the BGGA community by giving back, creating opportunities to improve the academy and demonstrating leadership

Tennoshin Ogawa

Yukie Sasaki

“I’ve known Tennoshin for four years,” said Smeltz. “He started as a skinny, little 14 year old and he’s matured as a human and is physically really strong now. He hits it really far. I can’t be more excited about how we’ve guided him into becoming a really good player and a really good person.”

Yukie is a model student and just a great person all around,” said BGGA Master Coach Jonathan Yarwood. “She’s very gentle away from the course and a caring person. When she plays golf she’s a tiger and really likes to compete, play hard and play well. She’s a good combination of being a great person, a great ambassador as well as a great golfer.”


BGGA Student of the Year – Helps and supports others, demonstrates the highest level of personal integrity, a strong leader and someone of the highest moral and ethical character

Xavier Marcoux

Tracy Lee


Most Valuable Player – Based on work ethic, effort, attitude and mindset

Niels Schmidlin

Kristine Yin

Jeffrey Wu

Yukie Sasaki


Most Improved Academic Award – Based on grade improvement throughout the year

Carlos Marrero

Peisha Fan


Most Improved Player Award – Improvement in attitude, work ethic, results and effort

Senne Ramiah

Claire Jeon

Branimir Nikolich

Sissy Wang

Senne transferred from a different junior academy,” said Smeltz. “He had a lot of talent coming in, worked really hard and changed his mindset. He wasn’t used to the way we coach in our POD system but he bought into it even though it was different than what he was used to. He’s improved a tremendous amount.”

Claire is the best student anyone could ask for,” said Smeltz. “She takes direction yet always wants to know why in a very respectful way. The scores have shown.”

Branimir came talking a good game but not really having the game to back it up by his own admission,” said Yarwood. “He ended up lacking when he played. He’s worked really hard and improved his game. He looks as good as a tour player. As a person, he’s close to a character award for me. He’s made the most significant steps as a person. He came in as a boy and turned into a man and matured in a lot of ways.”

Sissy has done phenomenally well,” said Yarwood. “She came in as a 120s shooter and was a very poor golfer with no real experience. She’s technically getting better and better. She’s become stronger and has more experience playing. She’s technically evolved to the point where I watch her technique and it wouldn’t look out of place on the LPGA Tour. She still needs to learn how to transfer those skills and keep getting stronger and she needs more experience. She shot 79 in a tournament recently and that’s remarkable and a testament to how much she’s improved.”


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