OGRO chair says Sport England has ‘dishonoured its role’ due to golf funding cuts
One of the leading figures in the golf industry, Colin Jenkins, has launched a scathing attack on Sport England over its funding cuts for golf.
Jenkins, who runs several golf venues in the UK and is the chairman of the Organisation of Golf and Range Operators (OGRO), was commenting on Sport England’s decision to cut nearly £500,000 of funding for the England Golf Partnership, which is supported by the Golf Foundation charity, which introduces children to the sport.
Jenkins said that by this ‘cruel and senseless’ process of effectively cutting funding to the Golf Foundation, Sport England has ‘dishonoured’ its role in the development of sport in the UK, and should ‘hang their heads in shame’. He added that the move shows that the body does not ‘understand sport properly’.
“Sport England have recently cut the funding for the Golf Foundation,” he said.
“They should hang their heads in shame as this exceptional charity is creating more golfers and more happiness amongst young people than could possibly be imagined.
“Due to their cruel and senseless funding cuts, Sport England have dishonoured their role in the development of sport in the UK. I’m sure we may hear from them with some snivelling defence of their pathetic, heavily justified policies, but the real reason that they have cut funding is because they just don’t understand sport properly.”
Jenkins has made a call to action – requesting anyone in the industry to contact their MP.
“Please ask your MP to enquire as to why such senseless action is taken, but be prepared for an artful block! Funding for sport is crucial to the health of society, but funding for stupid bureaucrats should be withdrawn immediately, they make me sick,” he said.
“Anyone who really understands junior golf knows that it’s is the younger children who take up golf and it is harder for the over 14 category to be so involved with golf, at this stage in their young lives. Cutting funding to the under 14s is plain stupid and shows a total lack of understanding.
“Children may not participate for a few years having started at a young age, but they still regard themselves as golfers, or capable of golf. They then resume their interest in the sport later in their lives. This is vital work that the Golf Foundation does so well – let them carry on.”
Sport England chief executive, Jennie Price, said the funding cuts will have no detrimental effect on the game. She said: “I want to reassure people who play golf that they won’t lose out – we will still fund them, but through other bodies, such as local authorities or charities.”
A spokesman for Sport England added: “Sport England is challenging the sport to take radical action to stop the continuing decline in the number of people playing golf regularly.”