More than a thousand ‘volunteers’ are set to be recruited as part of plans to deliver the Solheim Cup golf tournament next year in Scotland.
The Volunteer Programme for the women’s 2019 competition at Gleneagles was launched this week, with opportunities in areas including: Marshals, Scoring, Transport, Administration and Television.
The programme will encourage women and young people in particular to volunteer as well as allowing both golfers and non-golfers to get involved.
This builds on the ambition of the tournament’s ambition to create the “most inclusive Solheim Cup to date” when it is hosted at Gleneagles in Perthshire from 9-15 September next year.
A ‘Volunteer Support Pot’ will also be in place to help some volunteers should they need extra help to participate in the volunteer experience.
Aileen Campbell MSP, The Scottish Government’s Minister for Public Health and Sport, said: “I am delighted that the Volunteer Programme is being launched for The 2019 Solheim Cup and that it will offer opportunities for those both with and without prior experience of the sport as well as focussing on women and young people. I hope that those who have no previous experience of golf are inspired by the event to be further involved in the game as well as leaving behind a greatly enhanced pool of people with the skills to support future major events in Scotland.
“Volunteering is a terrific way for people to be part of a world-class event experience as well as helping people to develop invaluable skills that they can use in other aspects of their life. We have seen in the past how passionate and friendly volunteers can greatly enhance an event experience and I look forward to Solheim Cup volunteers helping to provide a warm Scottish welcome to spectators at Gleneagles in 2019.”
Recently appointed European Captain and VisitScotland Ambassador, Catriona Matthew, is looking to return the trophy to Europe in 2019 after an inspired USA team retained their trophy by 16 ½ to 11 ½ points, in front of record crowds in Iowa.
Catriona said:“Volunteers are one of the most important parts of any golfing event we play in. The pride our Scottish volunteers will take in ensuring visitors and fans experience the very best of Scottish hospitality will be our secret weapon.”
The programme is being led by Liz Taylor, the Head Volunteer. Liz has a wealth of experience in volunteering and is currently involved in the junior coaching programme at Prestonfield Golf Club in Edinburgh where more than 100 children receive coaching each week.
Liz was awarded SGU Volunteer of the Year in 2013 and more recently Scottish Women in Sport People’s Champion 2014. She said: “It’s a great honour to take up this prestigious opportunity and I’m fully committed in ensuring that all our volunteers both receive a very warm welcome, and provide a very warm Scottish welcome to everyone involved in the event.”
Themes of equality, innovation and experience will be thread through all the event’s communications as The 2019 Solheim Cup aims to engage both the traditional golf audience and the wider sport fan, raising the profile of women’s golf both in Scotland and internationally.
The Scottish Government and VisitScotland have been long-time supporters of the women’s game having partnered with the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the recently significantly enhanced Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, which took place as a co-sanctioned LET and LPGA event for the first time last year.