25 May 2023 | Women and girls |
R&A Charter signatories hit 50
by Martin Blake
The number of Australian golf clubs who have become signatories to the R&A’s Women in Golf Charter has hit the 50 milestone.
And almost 200 clubs are in the expression-of-interest phase with the likelihood that they will become future signatories.
A process which began in 2021 has become a significant movement in the game in this country.
The half-century milestone was reached recently, with clubs from all the states having jumped on board.
The R&A Charter was launched five years ago with the aim of:
• Strengthening the focus on gender balance and provide a united position for the golf industry • Committing national federations and organisations to support measures targeted at increasing participation of women, girls and families in golf • Calling on signatories to take positive action to support the recruitment, retention and progression of women working at all levels of the sport • Setting individual targets for national federations for participation and membership and annual reporting of progress • Developing an inclusive environment for women and girls within golf
It has been described by Martin Slumbers, the R&A Chief Executive, as “a strong statement of intent from the golf industry that it has to change and a commitment on behalf of all of us to take measures designed to achieve positive change for women, girls and families”.
The charter was quickly endorsed by Golf Australia and staff have been working with clubs and facilities over the past two years to facilitate their signing of the document.
Golf Australia’s Women and Girls Operation Manager Megan Carr, who has driven the national roll-out of the charter, said the success of the initiative was about more than the numbers.
“We always had 50 clubs as a guide so that’s really pleasing to hit that mark,” said Carr. “But even more pleasing to us is the actual change within clubs that the charter is driving.
"It’s had a significant impact within clubs from the adoption of multi-day club championships to the alignment of programs under our Get Into Golf and MyGolf banners where some clubs were running successful programs and we were able to align and support what they were doing without changing their models.
“We’ve had clubs looking at the role of the women’s committee and making sure that those committees are looking at attraction and retention.
“We’ve got nearly 200 expressions of interest from clubs and while not all of them have become signatories, they are still doing great work for women and girls in the game and there’s an acknowledgement that we’re all here working hard to be better clubs and facilities for women and girls tomorrow than we are today.”
Golf Australia’s Head of Women and Girls Engagement, Tiffany Cherry, was delighted with the milestone.
“We are absolutely committed to evolving leadership across our Australian Golfing landscape, and the positive and impactful culture it creates. Our first 50 signatories to the R&A Women in Golf Charter have led the way in our gender equity space, and through sharing their challenges and successful solutions, we’ve been able to drive the storytelling and the ‘why’ behind this important work, so others are inspired to follow.”
Golf Australia encourages clubs and facilities to inquire about the R&A Women in Golf Charter.
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