“It’s great to see women’s sport taking strides in both participation and representation”

Natalie McColl, the GCMA’s Membership Services Manager, reflects on an inspiring August for women’s sport in general and a special week at Walton Heath during the AIG Women’s Open  As I look back on the month of August, I am filled with inspiration from the amazing sporting achievements that have ignited a passion for women's sports across the country. The outstanding performances in netball, football and golf at the AIG Women's Open set the stage for this year's Women and Girls in Golf Week. This annual initiative brings together the golf industry to promote and celebrate women in all aspects of the golf world. Each day of the initiative introduces a different aspect of women’s engagement in golf; Newbies, Role Models, Careers, Volunteering and Health & Wellbeing.   During the second day of the initiative, the focus was volunteering, which gave us a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of our female regional managers and board directors at the GCMA. These amazing women selflessly volunteer their time and expertise to support the association and its members. Over my two years with the GCMA, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Karen Drake, Maureen Brooker, Judy Barker, and Kerry Alligan-Smith. They are all outstanding role models for women aspiring to build successful careers in golf club management.  My admiration continued the next day as the attention turned to women's careers in golf and showcased the wide range of opportunities available to any girl or woman. As part of the GCMA's commitment to supporting its female members and championing women in the workforce, I had the privilege of hosting GCMA female members during the practice day of the AIGWO at breathtaking Walton Heath. Eight remarkable women from different parts of the country joined me on a sunny day, bringing together a diverse group with varied experiences in club management. Over coffee, we discussed the pressures of managing golf clubs, and I felt incredibly proud to facilitate a network of women who shared their challenges, advice, and understanding with one another. Building a sense of community is at the heart of the GCMA's mission, so witnessing the value of a day spent with like-minded individuals was truly rewarding.  While at Walton Heath, some of the group also had the opportunity to attend the Women in Sport Summit hosted by the R&A, which provided insightful inspiration on how our industry can further grow the women's game. We capped off the day with a farewell drink on the patio of the clubhouse, promising to reunite in the future. It was a truly great day for everyone involved. A special thank you and congratulations go to GCMA member Alex Woodward, the CEO at Walton Heath, and his team for organising such an incredible event and inviting us to be a small part of it. The impact of this event will undoubtedly be far-reaching and long-lasting, as it opened up golf in a way we have never seen before.  So what next? We all know...
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