A new charitable trust, supported by England Golf, will provide grants and bursaries for boys and girls who need financial help to play the game.
The England Golf Trust replaces and extends the scope of the former EWGA Trust for girls’ golf. It is being backed by ambassadors, BBC presenter Naga Munchetty and European Tour professional Robert Rock.
Naga sent a message to the launch event at King’s Norton Golf Club, Worcestershire, saying: “Every time I play I see the effect that that game has on the development of young people’s personal skills, confidence and values – and this is why I am delighted to be associated with the England Golf Trust.
“Young people are the lifeblood of our golf clubs so helping them to play golf in a fun environment should be encouraged by us all.”
The Trust will help young people, aged under 21 or in full-time education, who are in financial need and who, without this support, would not be able to play golf. It will award grants and bursaries.
Money which was given to the EWGA Trust to help girls has been ring fenced and the Angela Uzielli and Bellamy Bursaries will also be open only to girls. But all future money will be available for both boys and girls.
Trust chairman Di Horsley said: “It became clear that to make a real difference to young people, we should have a trust supporting both boys and young men as well as girls and young women.
“The England Golf Trust fills a gap by offering help to young people who genuinely can’t afford to play golf, but who love the sport. It will give them the opportunity to stay in the game, to develop life skills including confidence, self-esteem and integrity and to help make up the heart and soul of our golf clubs.”
Among those attending the launch were representatives of the PGA and the Golf Foundation, together with four young women who have been helped by the former EWGA Trust and who spoke about the support they had received. They include:
Lucy Buckley, from Birmingham, first started playing golf, aged 10, on the Wii – and loved it. Her grandma enrolled her for a series of golf lessons with Greg Lynch, the PGA professional at the local driving range. Greg recognised her potential straight away and encouraged her to join Warley Woods Golf Club, a local municipal nine-hole course, owned by a Community Trust. She’s made impressive progress, helped by a grant from the Trust.
Stacey Mitchell was supported by a Bellamy Bursary when she was a self-funded post graduate student at the University of Lincoln. She said: “The grant enabled me to complete my Research Masters on gender inequality in golf which has helped me to achieve my dream role as a Regional Development Officer for The Golf Foundation, also taking a lead on girls’ development for the charity. I am extremely grateful for the support provided by the EWGA Trust.”
How to help the Trust:
There are two ways to help the Trust, firstly by identifying those young people who need financial support to stay in the game and secondly by encouraging individuals and golf clubs to make a donation, make a bequest or buy a golf diary.
To find out more about the Trust, access application forms and different ways to support it please click here