Sport England has agreed to support English Golf through the Sport England Lottery Fund with up to nearly £1 million of funding over the next 12 months.
The English Ladies Golf Association (ELGA) and the English Golf Union (EGU) will receive funding towards their respective World Class Programmes, both designed to identify and train talented golfers to a standard capable of becoming world champions.
The grants which were recently announced are a continuation of support which ELGA have been receiving for the past four years and EGU the past two and will cover the period 1st October 2003 – 30th September 2004.
Sport England chief executive, Roger Draper, said, “We are pleased to confirm Sport England’s commitment and support to the development of golf in England. Having recently seen fantastic performances at professional level in both the men’s Ryder Cup and the women’s Solheim Cup, we need to ensure that our up and coming talented amateurs have the opportunities to reach the same levels of performance.
“Lottery funding for the World Class Programmes will enable amateur golfers to access support services and quality coaching resulting in more English players making their mark at the top in the amateur and professional game.”
The ELGA will receive up to £513,000 and EGU up to £450,000 towards their respective training programmes making a total commitment from Sport England of £963,000.
Linda Bayman, performance director for ELGA explained, “The continuation of funding for a fourth year is welcome news for ELGA and we are delighted that the EGU is now part of World Class Programmes. I look forward to close co-operation on various aspects of the two World Class plans. The Start programme has achieved a marked improvement in the standard of the 13-18 age group. ELGA’s World Class Programme allows the adult players to develop to a higher level before embarking on a professional career. The funding also makes it possible to remain in amateur golf if the player so chooses. Above all the transition from ‘lady golfer‘ to ‘world Class athlete‘ has transformed the commitment and expectation of our best players.”
The funding will help support talented English golfers with their training and preparation for international competition. The players selected for the programmes will receive access to services through structured training programmes that will include expert technical advice along with detailed sports science and sports medicine support.
Delighted with the news, EGU performance director, Nigel Furniss, explained, “We have made great strides over the past two years in developing our training programmes through the support of the Sport England Lottery Fund and introduction of a World Class Performance Programme. We have raised the level of performance of English golfers and the results confirm this. It was crucial that Sport England supported our application to implement a long term strategic development plan to mould the EGU National Coaching Programme into the best in the world.”