10 Years of Trust
The 2016 Ryder Cup matches mark a milestone in the history of the Ryder Cup European Development Trust (RCEDT), as it is 10 years since the Trust began supporting grass roots golf projects across Europe.
Over 35 projects in 29 European countries have been supported helping thousands of people of all ages get into the sport and continue to participate and enjoy their golf.
The RCEDT uses its share of the nett profits from European Ryder Cup Matches to contribute to golf projects across the continent, reflecting the vastly international reach of the event and providing the opportunity to give back to the sport.
“Over 35 projects in 29 European countries have been supported helping thousands of people of all ages get into the sport and continue to participate and enjoy their golf…”
Find Out More About Some of the Supported Projects Over the Last 10 Years Below…
“At an early stage of Bulgaria’s golf development, the RCEDT funding give us credibility as an emerging nation,” says General Secretary of the Bulgarian Golf Association, Seth Underwood.
“Also at that time the financial assistance was key to supporting the setting up of the programme, providing equipment & transport, and was the driver to get us to where we are now.”
An early recipient of support was the Bulgarian Golf Association helping to implement golf coaching in schools and introducing juniors to the sport through summer camps and junior competitions across the country.
The Association established a series of objectives in order to get the programme started, including the development of a systematic and more organised approach to junior golf by providing support for golf sessions at school and golf facilities so that young people are given their first introduction to golf. This would then be complemented by the development of individuals and teams in order to allow Bulgaria to compete at international and European levels, with a view to producing a national team to represent Bulgaria at the Eisenhower Trophy every year and other international golfing events.
Founded in 2007 by former Dutch international football player Robert Kalkman, himself a cancer survivor, the foundation supports children with cancer and/or a physical limitation and encourages them to find a new passion in life by playing golf. Robert’s aim is to provide a sporting challenge to these children, to offer them the chance to have fun within sport.
The foundation organises golf clinics across the country each year, both outdoors on different golf courses and indoors with a golf simulator. Each golf clinic has the goal of giving the children a totally unforgettable day. PGA Professionals assist Robert in giving the golf clinics and, where necessary, the children are transported to and from hospital in order to attend. A typical day includes learning about putting, chipping, bunker shots and practise on the driving range, with the chance to play a few holes on the course. The feedback from all those who take part is very positive, which in turn helps the children to stay positive despite their illnesses.
“The funding has been very important – we started out from zero so to get the clinics going and organise what we had promised to put together was important and the support from the Ryder Cup European Development Trust was vital,” explains Kalkman.
“The motivation is that you can make so many children happy – at the moment they are in the worst situation of their lives and if you cannot do any sport. Golf is the best sport to get in contact with because of the fresh air, they can do it at their own speed, and there are nice surroundings. The atmosphere is very important and when concentrating they can forget about the hospital, their chemotherapy or treatment, and operations.”
The European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) have received RCEDT support for assistance in developing a programme which would help to develop a educational course for PGA professionals to teach golfers with disability. This was successfully completed with further help from the PGAs of Europe, the PGA of Holland and the Dutch platform for golfers with disability and has since become a stand alone programme.
EDGA is uniquely positioned to support the development of initiatives which promote the development of golf for individuals with impairment across Europe, positively influence public perception and offer meaningful and relevant advice to golf’s ruling authorities.
More recently in 2016, EDGA has received further support from the RCEDT:
“This commitment from the RCEDT will allow EDGA to accelerate the work mentioned above to reach more individuals with impairment and bring forward a set of ambitious objectives to raise awareness of the value that Golfers with disability can bring to the wider community and industry of Golf,” explained EDGA President, Tony Bennett.
“The RCEDT is one of the most respected funds to which organisations in Europe can make an application. We thought long and hard about making an application to the fund as it is clear that whatever we proposed we would have to be able to deliver.”
The European Tour, together with events specialists, Provision Events, created a development roadshow to connect with European countries’ PGAs and federations and give them a platform to introduce golf to families in a fun and memorable way in a busy city centre location or at a European Tour event.
“The Roadshows at our tournaments all over Europe have been a really strong way of getting people to engage with the events,” said Head of Corporate Responsibility for the European Tour, Fredrik Lindgren.
“There is nothing quite like acting on inspiration, and The Roadshow has provided the opportunity for golf fans to do that on site – in many cases it has been the first opportunity for people to try golf after seeing the elite players out on the course and for otters it has been inspired learning. With the help of the RCEDT, we have been able to further engage golf fans with the tournaments and also get expert coaching for all levels of players from local PGA Professionals, which prolongs the opportunity to learn beyond the events. “
Since 2009, the roadshows have given 19,354 free golf lessons and taken the golf development roadshow to 21 countries:
“If it wasn’t for the funding from the rcedt then we would not have given 1 lesson. The RCEDT funding was critical in having the chance to give 19,354 and visit 21 countries,” says Founder and Managing Partner of Provision Events, Nick Clemens. “The relationships that the RCEDT have with local PGAs and golf Federations made it easier for us to make this happen.”
“…Since 2009, the roadshows have given 19,354 free golf lessons and taken the golf development roadshow to 21 countries…”
Following the successful staging of the 2010 Ryder Cup in Wales, Golf Development Wales received ongoing support from the RCEDT. Golf Development Wales is the development arm of the Golf Union of Wales and is a strategic partnership between the Golf Union of Wales, the Golf Foundation and Sport Wales and is also supported by the Professional Golfers Association.
The support helped to introduce 160,000 children and beginners to golf, provide regular coaching to 31,000 people and allow over 250 club volunteers, PGA Professionals and secretaries to attend workshops or receive mentoring.
“The RCEDT assistance allowed Golf Development Wales to operate and achieve the employment of community co-ordinators,” explains Director of Golf Development at the Golf Development Wales, Hannah McAllister. “Without the funding the PGA ambassador and community co-ordinator projects may not have happened.”
The Paul Lawrie Foundation was established by Paul to promote the game and to encourage as many kids as possible to experience and enjoy playing our sport, whilst removing some of the financial burden associated with it.
Lawrie’s foundation aims to get as many young people playing golf and enjoying it, with aspirations to create the touring professionals of the future. The Foundation has steadily grown over time developing a number of programmes, and has been supported by the Ryder Cup European Development Trust along the way.
“I’d also like to thank the Ryder Cup European Development Trust for being a massive part of our Foundation,” says Paul Lawrie. “The Foundation has been on the go since 2001 and teaches kids not only about golf, but about how to behave, speak and how to play; it’s all extremely important.”
The Foundation also supports a number of Professionals in the UK playing on tours such as the Ladies European Tour, Challenge Tour, and Euro Pro Tour, and Lawrie himself has continued to support the Ladies Tartan Tour and various PGA in Scotland events, in particular the Paul Lawrie Invitational played since 2011 giving young Professionals, top amateurs and seasoned campaigners a quality tournament with a significant prize fund.
“We could not have done all that we have been able to without the support of RCEDT and our other Sponsors,” says Paul Lawrie Foundation Manager, Michael MacDougall. “Having the RCEDT as a supporter adds kudos to the Foundation and has built-up a reputation for supporting some excellent initiatives and programmes throughout Europe…we are very proud & grateful to have their backing.”