SafeGolf, the UK & Ireland partnership working together to promote a safe and positive environment for everyone in the sport, was launched on Wednesday (18th July) at Carnoustie during The Open Championship.
SafeGolf is the next step for the sport’s safeguarding partners who in recent years have supported the development of a robust safeguarding framework across the golfing landscape for all those playing, volunteering and working in golf. The name is new and clear, but the mission remains the same: to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people, as well as adults at risk.
SafeGolf offers a new website – www.safegolf.org – through which anyone who may have a concern about the welfare of any player, or are concerned about the behaviour or practice of a coach, volunteer, organiser, parent or a player, can contact the lead safeguarding officer at their national governing body.
The SafeGolf branding and name have been developed to be straightforward, easily understood and memorable for everyone involved in the sport.
Members of SafeGolf include: England Golf, Wales Golf, Scottish Golf, Confederation of Golf in Ireland, the Professional Golfers’ Association, Ladies European Tour, the Golf Foundation, Golf Club Managers’ Association, the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association and The R&A.
In May 2017, the Golf Foundation launched its findings into what makes a great golfing experience for juniors. Carried out by SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC, one of the most notable findings from the research was that 99% of parents whose children play golf see it as providing a safe environment.
Victoria Brown, England Golf’s Lead Safeguarding Officer, commented: “An important part of safeguarding is spreading the message about everyone’s role in keeping others safe.
“England Golf is fully committed to working with each of the ten SafeGolf partners to develop an approach to safeguarding that is consistent, ensuring that everyone involved in the sport should never have to worry about abuse or harassment.
“Effective measures will safeguard everyone in the sport and England Golf hope that the benefits of the SafeGolf partnership will be relevant for all those involved in golf, from participants through to coaches and organisational management.
“England Golf wants golf to be a fun, safe and positive experience for everyone and we look forward to working with the SafeGolf partners to achieve this aim.”
Gill Camina, independent Chair of the SafeGolf strategic group, described SafeGolf as “a hugely positive partnership.”
She added: “Each of the ten SafeGolf partners, who represent all areas of golf in the UK & Ireland, are fully committed to working together for the maximum benefit of young people and adults at risk. This is vitally important for the whole sport of golf.”
The launch of SafeGolf (pictured) took place in the ‘R&A Swing Zone’ in the Spectator Village at Carnoustie on the eve of The Open Championship. Invited local youngsters enjoyed energetic and fun Tri-Golf challenges while receiving coaching from expert PGA professionals to develop their early golf swings.
Appropriately, there are safe points for children to congregate at Carnoustie during The Open and other major golf events, for them to easily access support or if they become separated from family and friends.