The R&A is continuing its commitment to increase participation in golf among women and girls by providing funding to support the appointment of new development managers in Australia, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Working with its affiliates around the world to enhance golf’s appeal, the investment forms part of the governing body’s drive to encourage more women, girls and families to play golf more regularly across the globe and to go on to become members of golf clubs.
An initial three-year funding package of £75,000 per nation, has been agreed between The R&A, Golf Australia, England Golf, the Golfing Union of Ireland / the Irish Ladies’ Golf Union, Scottish Golf and Wales Golf for the recruitment and appointment of experienced sports development staff.
The appointees will all work in partnership with golf’s various stakeholders to deliver innovative solutions and inspiring campaigns to boost participation at a time when more women are seeking an active lifestyle for both themselves and their families.
In Scotland, the funding is being matched by the Scottish Government and VisitScotland as part of The 2019 Solheim Cup project, creating a Women and Young People Development Manager post within Scottish Golf to drive forward and promote opportunities to increase female and junior participation in golf in Scotland ahead of and beyond The Solheim Cup and PING Junior Solheim Cup being staged at Gleneagles in 2019.
Great Britain and Ireland international Maria Dunne has taken up the post in Ireland, with England Golf appointing Lucy Blakey, a former Project Officer with Lincolnshire County Sports Partnership.
Wales Golf has appointed Simon Lu who joins from Race Equality First, while Scottish Golf has employed Carol Harvey, previously a Regional Development Officer with Netball Scotland.
Meantime, Chyloe Kurdas has been appointed to the position at Golf Australia, with her most recent role being AFL Victoria Female Football Development Manager.
Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development at The R&A, said, “Women and girls continue to be an under-represented group throughout golf across the world and more work needs to be done to attract more of them into the sport at a time when we need to boost participation levels.
“We believe that there is a real opportunity, working with our affiliates, to develop inclusive and inspiring participation initiatives which show that golf is a fun and enjoyable leisure activity that can provide many social and health benefits for women and families.”
A recent research report commissioned by The R&A demonstrates that a significant growth opportunity exists for golf if it can attract more women, girls and families into playing the sport more often.