In the first of a series of webinar collaborations, GCMA chief executive Tom Brooke and England Golf CEO Jeremy Tomlinson addressed the need to make the game more diverse... Golf has been given a “great opportunity” to have a “really positive impact on society” by focusing on equality, diversity, and inclusion, Tom Brooke told webinar viewers. In a well-attended Hot Topics event, the first in a series of collaborations between the GCMA and England Golf, the Association’s chief executive said the game should be one of the “most inclusive sports in the world”. Joined by England Golf CEO Jeremy Tomlinson, under the banner of ‘Making Golf More Inclusive’, Tom said long-term success, and a sustainable and thriving activity, would only be achieved if golf became more diverse. “It's actually one of the very few games which can be played with a group of people and each individual's participation in that game, and enjoyment, is not impacted by the other people within their group,” he explained. “It should be one of the most inclusive sports in the world – in terms of the nature of participation and those that take part. “Yet we’re under no illusion that we do have an image problem, and there is a huge amount of stigma attached to the game of golf. “But I think we’ve got a great opportunity right now, with the way that golf has grown over the past 18 months through the pandemic, to really have a positive impact on society as a whole, and on the culture of our game, by really focusing on diversity.” Referencing the experiences of Azeem Rafiq at Yorkshire Cricket Club, Jeremy said this was a time when “every sport needed to stop, and check, and look at itself in the mirror”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAMkAGEbLDQ&feature=youtu.be “The pure populace, the demographic of people who play our wonderful sport, means we are a reflection on society. As we all know, society is not perfect.” He added: “I want everybody to understand the seriousness of what happens when good governance is not prevalent, when good policies and process are not prevalent, and what can happen – whether it be through media exposure or Member of Parliament exposure. It is not a fun place to be. “That was something that really concerned me and, whether it be non-adherence, or so many other things within business, the updating of those policies hasn’t necessarily been a priority.” He continued: “We just need to be cognisant of, and try to make sure that at our clubs, that we do have our policies and processes as up to date as we can so that we are ready, there to be able to deal with a threat, there to be able to put our arms around members if there is a situation. That situation can very easily happen. “The situations I’m talking about have happened on the 1st tee, they’ve happened in the bar, the restaurant, or they’ve happened in the car park. They are happening in everyday...
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