Happy first birthday to This Girl Can - the inspiration behind the #ThisGirlGolfs campaign to get more women and girls playing the game.

This Girl Golfs, England Golf

Happy first birthday to This Girl Can - the inspiration behind the #ThisGirlGolfs campaign to get more women and girls playing the game.

This Girl Can was launched a year ago by Sport England to encourage more women and girls to get active. Figures released to mark the anniversary show that 2.8 million women who recognise the campaign say they’ve done some or more activity as a result. What’s more, 1.6 million of them say they’ve actually started exercising.

Golf has its own positive story. This Girl Can inspired the video campaign #ThisGirlGolfs, which was launched last July to shift the perception that golf is a game for men and show that it’s an accessible game for all.

The video, produced by Sports Publications with the backing of England Golf, the PGA and Scottish Golf, has already received over 3,000 views on its microsite, has featured on over 370 websites and the hashtag has been used over 8,000 times.

It’s set to get even more exposure as the new season gets underway and #ThisGirlGolfs supports a host of England Golf activities with clubs and counties to attract women and girls.

Lauren Spray, the England Golf Women & Girls’ Participation Manager, said:

“Golf is a great game for women – it’s fun, friendly and good exercise. We’re supporting Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign and applying it to golf with #ThisGirlGolfs and there’s going to be lots of activity over coming months.”

England Golf is already working intensively with clubs to attract more women and girls to the game. A pilot project with 100 clubs started last July, helps clubs to make connections with local women’s groups and focusses on providing playing and membership opportunities in an environment which women find comfortable and enjoyable. In just five months, over 1200 women took structured coaching courses, almost 600 began playing regularly and over 360 became members.

The pilot is part of Get into golf, the England Golf campaign to inspire adults to take up golf and play more often. Female interest in the game is highlighted by the fact that over 41% of people taking up Get into golf coaching opportunities are women.

Other initiatives include working with the Golf Foundation on Girls Golf Rocks, which features girl county squad players acting as ambassadors to inspire other girls to start playing. It was successfully trialled in Essex last year when 90 girls attended taster sessions, 40 took structured coaching and six became members. More counties will be running projects in 2016.