England Golf rewarded for boosting participation
A partnership featuring England Golf and the Professional Golfers’ Association is to receive £6.23 million over the next four years specifically to boost participation in golf.
The award, from Sport England, which is funded by the National Lottery and the government, is the fifth highest amount that a sport is receiving. Only netball (£10.5 million), rugby union (£10 million), athletics (£7.3 million) and table tennis (£6.79 million) are receiving more to spend on participation.
The money, which will go to the England Golf Partnership (EGP), demonstrates the confidence English sport’s governing body now has in England Golf to grow the game, following years of successful initiatives such as Get into golf, Golf Express and Girls Golf Rocks.
The partnership will receive a further £2.25 million to invest on developing talent. The total amount of £8.48 million is the third highest, after netball and rugby union, a governing body is receiving in this portfolio of investments. The overall pot was £101 million and is being distributed to 25 governing bodies of sports, ranging from football to wheelchair basketball.
EGP chairman, Nic Coward, said: “There are 3.6 million golfers in England, and the game continues to produce many world-class players. We will continue to work with Sport England on our many projects and initiatives that deliver great results across the country.
“Our main aim is for all involved in the sport to work together in partnership, to put golfers first and to give everyone the best possible experience within the sport.
“Now we know the level of award from Sport England, we will consider our next steps, taking time to look at how best to deliver with the resources available to us.”
“This is a second major portfolio of investments [in December 2016 £88 million was set aside for a further 26 governing bodies of sport, including £17.3 million for cycling] designed to get more people playing sport regularly and keeping that healthy habit,” said Andrew St Ledger, head of media relations at Sport England.
“Some of the funding will be invested in tackling inactivity, creating more sports clubs for young people and mass participation programmes and events.”
Tennis, for example, will receive over £8 million to target particular underrepresented groups, including disabled people and people on lower incomes, while some of the netball funding will go to develop a walking netball programme, particularly aimed at people who want to keep playing but are at risk of dropping out due to injury or age.
Sport England’s director of sport, Phil Smith, said: “The governing bodies that we’re announcing our backing have shown us how much they understand and are up for the challenge of keeping sport’s regulars playing.
“I’ve been really impressed by the fresh approaches in their plans, the evidence they’ve gathered to back up their ideas and the enthusiasm they’ve show for putting customers first.
“Our investments will allow them to reach the customers they know best, and provide them with their regular sport in the way they want it.”
Sport England has also opened a number of other funding programmes which a broad range of organisations can apply for, including a £10 million fund to tackle inactivity and £7.5 million to support projects focused on open spaces.
The investments and work will come into force this April.