In their own words: Craig Tracey MP

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire April 9, 2019 05:27

Writing exclusively for The Golf Business, the co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Golf Group, and Member of Parliament for North Warwickshire & Bedworth, discusses the work that the group does to support the sport.

Whilst Brexit dominates political debate in Westminster, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Golf continues to provide a strong voice for the sport.

Established in late 2015, the group has the deliberately broad remit ‘to support the sport of golf’, meeting regularly in parliament to hear from speakers from across the world of golf and discuss issues in the sport.

Outside of our regular events, we offer group members the opportunity to promote the game to government, parliamentarians and, more broadly, act as a strong voice for golf in Westminster.

Whilst we are always looking at new topics, our core focuses for 2019 are ‘inclusivity’ and ‘the health benefits of golf’.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf was one of the first organisations to become a signatory to The R&A’s Women in Golf Charter

The R&A’s Women in Golf Charter was warmly welcomed by the group following its launch in 2018, and we were one of the first organisations to become a signatory. However, we recognise that there is much more to be done to encourage more women and girls to play and work in the game, and we are committed to working with partners from across the industry to develop a more inclusive environment for all to take part in the sport.

I recently raised this work with the secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the chamber of the House of Commons, and the group plans to meet with the secretary of state or sports minister, along with major golf bodies, later in the year.

At our next meeting, we will focus on women’s and girls’ golf, taking evidence from a panel of leaders from across the industry, and hope to be able to pull together some action points for the group to take up with government.

The APPG is also keen to promote other inclusive forms of the game, including for those with disabilities, shorter forms of the game such as GolfSixes, and other alternative formats.

Providing a variety of opportunities for all to participate in the sport is the best way that we will grow participation, and we are committed to working with all in the game to achieve this.

The other key area of the group’s work in 2019 is around the health benefits that the sport delivers for participants and spectators.

There is increasingly a need for sport to evidence the return on investment that it delivers to government, and golf been a real leader in the sports sector in producing data to support the contribution it makes to the nation’s health.

The APPG hosted the First International Congress on Golf and Health in Parliament with The R&A last October, which featured a number of high-profile speakers. A scientific consensus linking golf and health, commissioned by the World Golf Foundation and supported by The R&A, was presented with findings revealing that playing golf is associated with a range of physical and mental health benefits

The group was proud to host the First International Congress on Golf and Health in Parliament in conjunction with The R&A in October 2018, which featured a panel discussion with a number of high-profile speakers including public health minister, Steve Brine MP.

A scientific consensus linking golf and health, commissioned by the World Golf Foundation and supported by The R&A, was presented with findings revealing that playing golf is associated with a range of physical and mental health benefits. New studies are also underway to investigate improved quality-of-life through golf and on the sport’s impact on people with a range of diseases including dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

The group will continue to promote the health benefits of the game in 2019, especially to government. We plan to work with partners across the industry, particularly focusing on further research into the health benefits of golf for those with long-term conditions, and also around social prescribing of golf.

More information about the APPG, its activities and how to get involved, can be found online at www.parliamentary.golf and on Twitter @ParliamentGolf

 

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire April 9, 2019 05:27
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1 Comment

  1. Graham P April 11, 13:38

    I just tried to log in to the Parliamentary golf website only to find that to become an individual member there was a charge of £25!! I guess this will be another talking shop for the supposed “good and great” of golf with very few genuine stakeholders such as owners, managers and golf pro’s. The ongoing issue of VAT distortion is the one big issue that could and should be dealt with by this group, as the article says there is plenty of evidence to confirm the good that playing golf can do for society in health and well being so why not give us a level playing field to deliver these outcomes to as many people as possible

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