New support unveiled to help encourage upturn in ethnic minority golf participation
By Chris Johnston
Golf clubs across England are being offered new support to encourage more people from diverse ethnic communities to get involved in the game.
It is the result of a two-year project in Birmingham, run by England Golf and course operator Mytime Active, to establish how best to involve Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in golf.
The project successfully attracted 140 people from a range of backgrounds to take a six-week beginner course and now, with the support of Sporting Equals, a toolkit has been created to help clubs engage with local communities to grow the game.
It’s part of the England Golf strategy to create a healthy future for golf by encouraging clubs to offer what their existing and potential customers want.
England Golf chief executive Nick Pink said: “Our aim is to be customer focused. We want clubs to respond to the needs of all players and encouraging minority ethnic communities is an area with huge potential for growth in the sport.”
England Golf is committed to showing that golf is a game for all, to encouraging clubs to offer inclusive programmes which appeal to their local community, and to challenge perceptions by using diverse imagery to portray golf.
The Birmingham project centred on three courses: Hilltop, Pype Hayes and Hatchford Brook.
Jason Stanton, the operations director of Mytime Active, remarked: “Over 40% of Birmingham’s population is from a non-white background and Mytime Active operates seven courses across the city, making us ideally placed to engage with the local population.
“The three courses we chose for the project already had links with the local community and we were able to build on these to develop relationships and discover how to involve more people from BAME groups in golf.”
Sporting Equals Chief Executive, Arun Kang, is urging clubs to reach out to and welcome customers from diverse backgrounds.
“Golf is an inspiring sport which has produced some great champions from a range of backgrounds,” he said.
“However, there still remains a worrying shortage of BAME engagement.”