A cutting-edge animation featuring football star Gareth Bale has been rolled out in Wales as part of a new campaign to encourage people to play golf to improve their health and lifestyle.
‘Golf is Good’ is a new global project by The R&A, being piloted in Wales in partnership with Wales Golf, which builds on recent scientific research to promote the health and wellbeing benefits of playing the sport through creative storytelling.
Using animated video, last month’s campaign launch told the story of how three characters from different backgrounds are inspired into golf and go on to reap the mental, physical and social benefits – with research revealing that golfers, on average, live five years longer than non-golfers.
Now R&A global ambassador Bale, the Welsh football icon who has played an instrumental role in leading his country to the World Cup, features in a new animation.
The engaging video shows golf lover Bale reaping the benefits of golf for health away from his pressures of life under the media spotlight as an international footballer. It is being broadcast on Sky Sports in Wales and also across the digital platforms of Wales Golf.
Bale, who recently signed for MLS side Los Angeles FC, said:
“I’m proud to be involved in this health campaign with The R&A and it’s great that Wales is the pilot market.
“Through the animated video, I’m keen to show how golf helps me in my life. It allows me to get away from football, socialise with others in green space and enjoy a form of exercise.
“I hope the campaign shows people that golf has many health benefits and can keep you fit, happy and be enjoyed by everyone.”
Encouraging new and lapsed golfers back into the sport
The R&A, working with sport, fitness and wellbeing agency MATTA and animators Ritzy, has initially targeted Wales for the pilot health campaign ahead of a wider global roll-out.
The initiative, endorsed by the British Heart Foundation, respected medical professional Dr Andrew Murray and the University of Edinburgh, is running across Wales this summer to encourage new and lapsed golfers into the sport.
Earlier this year, Bale joined music star Niall Horan and Modest! Golf in backing The R&A’s drive to encourage more people into playing golf – including women and young people – broaden its reach and boost its image.
Further scientific research has indicated that golf, as a physical activity, can help prevent and treat 40 major chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, breast and colon cancer, depression and dementia. The sport can also help strength and balance, improve quality of life, boost social interaction and provide aerobic exercise.
Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at the R&A, said:
“We are delighted Gareth has worked with us as part of this exciting pilot health initiative in Wales. Gareth’s global appeal is helping The R&A to place increased focus on golf’s fantastic mental and physical benefits for people of all ages and abilities.
“We need to position golf as a leisure pursuit that can be accessed and enjoyed by everyone and encourage advocacy for the sport as a moderate intensity physical activity by government agencies, public health bodies and health professionals.”
The campaign is visible across Wales, including in golf clubs, on television and digital media. Wales Golf has a range of resources and pathways to help people get into golf, or to help them continue their golfing journey.
More information on ‘Golf is Good’ can be found on the Wales Golf website here.