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Funding announced to attract more women and girls into golf

​​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

  • 13 March 2018

​Caption: CGI Women and Girls' Golf Co-ordinator Maria Dunne with attendees of a Golf4Girls4Life Festival

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 in which more women are seeking an active lifestyle for both themselves and their families.

Great Britain and Ireland international Maria Dunne has taken up the post in Ireland. Having decided to finish her International career at the end of 2017, the opportunity arose to join the Confederation of Golf in Ireland team. Already a Golf4Girls4Life Ambassador Maria is embracing the idea of working to develop the game; "To be a role model in any phase of your life is really special, I appreciated so much being asked to be an ambassador as I know how role models have inspired me over the years. I look forward to now being involved for such an exciting time for the development of women's and girls' golf."

England Golf have appointed Lucy Blakey, a former Project Officer with Lincolnshire County Sports Partnership while Wales Golf has appointed Simon Lu who joins from Race Equality First. Scottish Golf has employed Carol Harvey, previously a Regional Development Officer with Netball Scotland.

VisitScotland, the national tourism organisation, has also provided funding for the position at Scottish Golf, recognising that opportunities exist to increase female participation ahead of the Solheim Cup and PING Junior Solheim Cup being staged at Gleneagles in 2019.

The Golf Australia development manager position will be appointed shortly.

Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development at The R&A, said, "We are aware that women and girls continue to be an under-represented group throughout golf across the world and that more work needs to be done to attract a higher number of females into the sport at a time when there are concerns around declining participation levels.

"We believe that a great opportunity exists, working with our affiliates, to develop inclusive and inspiring participation initiatives which position golf as 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.