In the governing body's Annual Review, England Golf’s Jeremy Tomlinson and Nic Coward said barriers to the sport must continue to come down... A forward-thinking Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity strategy is “something we must deliver on”, said England Golf as the governing body released its annual report. Chief executive Jeremy Tomlinson and Chairman Nic Coward said “we must continue to break down barriers and make a difference” as they looked to make the game accessible to everyone. Speaking amid a backdrop of growing participation and membership numbers, and promising engagement through iGolf and the use of the My EG app, the pair said: “It’s often said that golf is a sport for all ages and anyone, from any background, can take up the game. That is true. “However, the reality is that for many of the groups in society that are under-represented in the game, this has not been the case. “We must continue to break down barriers and make a difference.” At the start of this year, Tomlinson, along with GCMA chief executive Tom Brooke, addressed the need to make the game more diverse – urging clubs to think about the atmosphere they wanted to create at their facilities and how they articulated that to members. Brooke said golf had been given a great opportunity to have a really positive impact upon society and stated that it should be the most inclusive sport in the world – while committing to work with the governing body to promote equality, diversity and inclusion. On other issues, Coward and Tomlinson said England Golf had fielded a “quite staggering” 30,000 queries over the course of 2021 from clubs and members on the World Handicap System. “There was always going to be a bedding-in period following the biggest change to handicapping in a century, but we believe that WHS is now strongly rooted in the game.” And on the huge boost in participation seen as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Coward and Tomlinson said that keeping members was now as important as recruitment in the club game. “With many clubs now operating waiting lists, retention as much as recruitment becomes a key focus and we will provide ongoing support in this area.” To read the full Annual Review, click here. Do you subscribe to the GCMA's weekly E-newsletter? Make sure you're not missing out on the latest in the world of golf club management. Click here to join in.
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