"A Transnational Collaborative Partnership on Sport, Health and Participation"
GOLF: REALITIES AND CHALLENGES
It is estimated that approximately 7.9 million European citizens play golf in an industry that contributes over €15.1 billion to the European economy.
Richard Heath, General Secretary of the European Golf Association (EGA), has stated that:
“Europe has excellent capacity for golf with over 6,700 courses, some 4.2 million club-registered golfers and at least another 3 million citizens already playing the sport, but that are non-club-registered. Nevertheless, we are facing significant challenges in effectively engaging young people to take up the sport and we are actively seeking innovative new solutions for growing youth participation.”
Current rates of physical inactivity in Europe are worryingly high, as evidenced by the recently published 2014 Eurobarometer survey on Sport and Physical Activity, which found that:
⇨ 59% of EU citizens never or seldom exercise or play sport at least once a week.
⇨ Almost three-quarters of EU citizens (74%) are not members of any club, a 7% increase since 2009.
THE GOGOLF EUROPE PROJECT AN EU FUNDED INITIATIVE
The GoGolf Europe project, led by the European Golf Association (EGA) and funded by the European Commission under Erasmus+, the EU programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport for 2014-2020, has been developed to:
⇨ Increase the awareness of, and evidence base for, the health benefits of golf for European citizens.
⇨ Increase participation in the sport of golf at a pan-European level.
In parallel with the running of a broadly-focussed literature review about the health benefits of golf, an innovative coaching methodology will be designed and implemented to provide and test a new access pathway to golf for youth aged 15 to 18 years.
Within five collaborating member states, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Netherlands, and Portugal, a total of 640 youths will be given the opportunity to learn and play golf for the first time through a series of 12 lessons of two hours per week provided by local golf coaches.
Duration: 3 years from 1st January 2015 to 31st December 2017
GoGolf Europe will provide a unique opportunity for golf to demonstrate its value in providing health benefits to European citizens and its significant contribution towards the wider objective of increasing physical activity levels. The project will also test an innovative training approach in order to blueprint a model for effectively increasing golf participation of youths at grassroots level across Europe.
Overall, it is expected that the realisation of the benefits of golf to tackle Europe’s current epidemics of physical inactivity, obesity and low youth participation in sport will create a cascading effect to benefit the overall European population through increasing grassroots golf participation.
DETAILED GOGOLF EUROPE EXPECTED ACTION PLAN TO BE CARRIED OUT IN EACH COUNTRY
• Selection of 1 Golf Course as the training facility in each country
• Selection of 4 Schools to provide youth participants in each country
• Hosting of a golf taster session in each school
• Selection of 32 youths, from 15 to 18 years old, per school
• A total of 128 youths to be selected and trained per country over the project duration (32 students from each school)
• Provision of 4x12 week blocks of coaching in each school by the end of June 2017
• Each youth participant will receive 2 hours of coaching per week during a 12 week block
• Engagement with local Golf Coaches (selection/training workshop)
• A total of 640 youths aged 15-18 will be learning to play golf for the first time (128 youths in each country)
• Participants: all will be 15-18 years old and completely new to golf.