On the eve of the 16th edition of the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, Sports Minister Nigel Adams has signed The R&A’s Women in Golf Charter, making the UK Government the first in the world to pledge to play its part towards building a more inclusive culture within the sport. 

The charter, signed by 125 national governing bodies and wider organisations to date, commits signatories to supporting efforts to increase the number of women and girls playing golf and to encourage more opportunities for women to work and volunteer in the sport.

Since his appointment in July 2019, Adams has made inspiring increased participation in sport and physical activity, particularly for women and girls, one of his priorities.

It is expected that 100,000 spectators will travel from around the world to attend Scotland’s biggest sporting event of 2019 over the next three days, and Adams has urged golf fans to do all they can to support Team Europe, led by captain Catriona Matthew, and inspire them to win the trophy for the first time in six years over Juli Inkster’s Team USA.

The competition is also expected to welcome more than 200 accredited members of the media, and will be broadcast on Sky Sports and the BBC in the UK.

Nigel Adams, Minister for Sport, Media and Creative Industries, said: “The course is prepared, the scene is set and expectation amongst the fans is building. I am delighted that the Solheim Cup is returning to Scotland this week, for the first time in almost twenty years.

“This is a major opportunity to inspire a new generation of young people – particularly girls and young women – to take up the game, as well as promote Scotland as a host of major sporting events and leading visitor destination to the world.”

The Minister will attend the opening day of the competition, during which he will also attend a Cabinet meeting of the Home Nations Sports Ministers, to discuss areas of mutual interest.

On the challenges facing women’s sport, Adams added: “We must capitalise on the success of the Fifa Women’s World Cup and Netball World Cup and continue to bang the drum for women’s sport at every opportunity, pushing for greater participation, employment and commercial opportunities and visibility in the media.

“The coverage of the Solheim Cup and the R&A’s work can only help, so I am pleased to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to supporting this fantastic sport through The R&A’s Women in Golf charter.”

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive, The R&A, said: “It is so important for the long-term future of golf that we attract more women and girls into the sport. We have a tremendous opportunity to grow participation by making golf more accessible and family-friendly.

“The Women in Golf Charter brings together key bodies within golf to unite behind a shared vision for bringing more women and girls into golf. We welcome the support of the UK Government and hope it will encourage more golf clubs throughout the country to get on board.”