The 2015 KLM Open is the venue for the launch of an ambitious project to unite the golf industry in its quest to increase participation in golf across the EU and promote golf to the next generation of young players.
The GoGolf Europe project will support five European countries – the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France and Portugal – in a three year initiative designed to test innovative new access pathways to golf for European youth while also documenting the unique health benefits which the sport can provide to all.
The new GoGolf Europe project has successfully secured co-funding from the European Commission under Erasmus+, the EU programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport for 2014-2020.
Led by the European Golf Association (EGA), the project will unite the National Golf Governing Bodies of the five participating countries alongside the PGAs of Europe, the European Observatoire of Sport and Employment and the University of St Andrews as the official research partner. Alongside the funding support from the European Union, co-financing will also be provided by the European Tour and the EGA.
The GoGolf Europe launch event at the Kennemer Golf and Country Club on Wednesday September 9 used the prestigious setting of the KLM Open to showcase the project. As the project aims to increase youth participation in golf, the launch actively involved local children who were given a behind–the-scenes view of the European Tour venue and the chance to play golf and receive coaching from the professionals.
Richard Heath, General Secretary of the European Golf Association (EGA), the organisation leading the project, commented: “Europe has excellent capacity for golf with more than 6,700 courses and some 7.9 million citizens already playing the sport. Nonetheless, we are facing significant challenges in effectively engaging young people to take up the sport and we are actively seeking innovative new solutions for growing youth participation.”
Florence Brugmans, youth coordinator of the Netherlands Golf Federation, stated: “We are delighted to host the launch of the GoGolf Europe project – increasing youth participation in golf is high on our agenda in the Netherlands. We think the GoGolf project can make a difference in enthusing youth for the sport. We are pleased to be part of a project that unites the entire golf sector in pursuit of this goal.”
Fredrik Lindgren, Head of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability at the European Tour said: “The European Tour players were all inspired to start playing in their youth, and the European Ryder Cup team’s successes have led to innovative legacy programmes in the countries hosting The Ryder Cup, so we are proud to stand alongside our Golf Europe partners and further support the structured development of the sport in Europe with GoGolf.”
More information on the GoGolf Europe project can be obtained by contacting the EGA office at firstname.lastname@example.org
European Tour www.europeantour.com
European Golf Association www.ega-golf.ch