At last - some good news for Scottish Golf.
Just days after plans to increase affiliation fees in order to cover a funding shortfall were booted out at the organisation’s AGM, the body has received a timely boost from the R&A.
Furthering its commitment to increasing participation in golf amongst women and girls, the R&A is providing funding to support the appointment of new development managers in Australia, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
An initial three-year funding package of £75,000 per nation has been made available for the recruitment and appointment of experienced sports development staff in each of the five countries.
They will all work in partnership with golf’s various stakeholders to deliver ‘innovative solutions and inspiring campaigns’ to boost participation with this key demographic.
In Scotland specifically, the funding is being matched by the Scottish Government and VisitScotland as part of the 2019 Solheim Cup, creating a ‘Women and Young People Development Manager’ post within Scottish Golf with a remit to promote opportunities to increase female and junior participation in Scotland ahead of and beyond next year’s match at Gleneagles.
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, the executive director of 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.”