At its annual general meeting The Golf Foundation reported on a groundbreaking year. The Foundation is committed to making golf more accessible to children and its new role within golf’s national partnerships is building momentum for this cause. However, chief executive Mike Round is calling for more public support for the Foundation’s work now to protect the interests of youngsters for the future.
“We are delighted with what has been a highly successful year in our development work and pleased overall with our fundraising efforts,” he said “but we need more money if the hard work of our whole team is to have maximum effect. Support from our core funders (the R&A, European Tour, Ryder Cup and PGA) has been vital and an investment by England Golf is helping us to expand our regional development team from four to six, for 2007, which will be a great boost for our work in the regions in partnership with the EGU, ELGA and PGA.
“Working with the national partnerships to grow the game, the great challenge is to keep looking to improve our development work every year. We need to increase our fundraising activity and this we are determined to do.
“The Foundation recently formed a fundraising committee and this will be more proactive in its work throughout 2006 and 2007. We will also be looking for more corporate sponsorship and support from the business community.”
In the last year the Golf Foundation provided support to over 180 major school sport partnership projects. This work resulted in golf being taken into nearly 3,000 schools with just under 300 golf clubs providing follow-on opportunities. In addition, the Foundation supported over 250 junior programmes through its Starter Centre initiative and provided opportunities to thousands of inner city children through its Golf Roots project.
Mike Round added, “Much can be done simply by raising awareness and changing thinking. For example, if just 25 per cent of the golf clubs in England, Scotland and Wales added ‘£1 per member’ on to subscriptions, an estimated £250,000 could be raised to help junior golf each year.”
Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org