Norwich club appoints four women to key roles after 123 years of ‘tradition’
By ECG Newsdesk
One of England’s oldest golf clubs has shrugged off 123 years of tradition by appointing women in all of its key positions.
Royal Norwich Golf Club in Norfolk gave a Champagne welcome to new club captain Angela Loveday and club president Cherry Bishop, who will be supported by junior captain Jasmine Campbell and ladies’ captain Janet Clare.
The historic drive-in, which took place in the middle of March, was attended by all four and made headlines on Sky Sports News.
Royal Norwich is actively involved in attracting more women and girls into golf and supports England Golf initiatives to grow the game.
Lauren Spray, the England Golf Women and Girls’ Participation Manager, commented: “This is very good news which helps to break down barriers and dispel perceptions about the game. Golf is a friendly, welcoming sport and a game for all. Congratulations to Royal Norwich and its officials.”
General manager Phil Grice said that he was delighted with the move but added that he thought it was unfortunate some in the industry described it as ‘ground breaking’.
“We have appointed the best people for these roles, regardless of sex, and it is a shame that, in some respects, that this is considered ground breaking,” he said.
“We hope that other clubs, whilst respecting their heritage, also look forward with an open mind in terms of equality and developing our sport.”
Loveday, whose appointment will be quickly followed by at least two other county clubs which have women vice captains, said the move was the beginning of something special at the club.
“It’s the beginning of a wave,” said Loveday. “The golf environment is changing so rapidly and these roles are becoming genderless, open to anyone on their merit.
“Young people of both genders come together socially and in sport much more comfortably than they did in previous years. I applaud this and would like to develop this across our golf club.
“The inclusivity of family friendly golf with ladies, gents, mothers and fathers, grandparents and children having a good time together is part of our vision for the future.”
Loveday has been on the club’s general committee for eight years, holding key roles including close involvement in the club’s planned relocation within the county. She has also held posts within the ladies’ section and on the county handicapping committee. Angela is a Level 1 coach and has helped the club pro with junior activities.
The club also runs a junior scholarship programme where 30% of the members are girls. The programme is part of an overall strategy to grow the club’s female membership and has produced players including Hope Neild, a member of the winning team at the English Schools’ Team Championship, and county girl player Chloe Gibbs.
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