A three year report outlining how more than £8.5 million external funding has been invested in the development of the sport and the progress made by England in its ambition to become the leading golf nation by 2020 has been released by England Golf.
The England Golf Partnership has issued its first ever ‘Impact Report’ covering the period April 2005 to March 2008. It highlights the progress made by the Partnership, which consists of the English Golf Union, English Women’s Golf Association and PGA with support from Sport England and the Golf Foundation, in achieving its targets outlined in the ‘Whole Sport Plan’.
Bill Bryce, chairman of England Golf, said, “The Impact report covers the considerable progress that has been made since the ‘Whole Sport Plan’ was published in the spring of 2005. As well as identifying strategic changes that have been made in order to meet the plan’s objectives, it also showcases the many examples of success.”
The Impact report, which has been circulated to more than 2,000 golf clubs, the game’s 26 County Golf Partnerships, Regional Development Officers, media and other interested parties, updates the progress on the game’s 18 identified challenges and the impact made in the first three years.
• The formation of 23 County Golf Partnerships; formed by the representatives of the County Golf Union, County Ladies Golf Association and PGA working towards one joint development plan in their respective counties. The number has since risen to 26.
• More than 84 clubs achieving ‘GolfMark’ accreditation (now standing at more than 100); a national scheme which recognises beginner friendly golf facilities, with another 383 currently working towards recognition
• A total of £950k of new investment into grass roots golf facility provision, with almost £1.5m worth of new facilities established as a result
• Establishing a structured volunteer programme for providing support to more than 32,000 volunteers at all levels of the game and for recruiting even more
• Extensive activity at the junior level of the game including the formation of 211 Community Links facilities and 308 School Sports partnerships. This, in turn, has led to a 17% increase in the number of schools offering golf as an activity.
The report is released at an important stage in the work of England Golf which under the mission statement ‘growing the game’ is currently preparing the second submission of its overall plan for the period 2009-13.
Its main aims will be increasing participation both amongst juniors and adults, encouraging people to play more often and ensuring there is a clear Player Pathway for all English golfers taking up the game, right through to the top levels of the sport for those with the talent and potential. Support for the country’s 2000 golf clubs in delivering a quality experience for all people trying or taking up the game, is also a key aim.
Bill Bryce said, “It is astonishing what has been achieved in what is a relatively short period of time. The England Golf Partnership was formed to drive the vision of England becoming the leading golf nation by 2020, not just at the highest level but by providing more opportunities for people to start, stay and succeed at every level.
“The many highlights achieved to date are testament to the hard work and dedication of all involved in golf and especially the many volunteers up and down the country.”
A full copy of the Impact report can be downloaded from the England Golf Partnership website at www.englandgolfpartnership.com under ‘Documents‘.