Wales Golf win at the inaugural Welsh Sports Association Industry Awards for their pioneering work in sustainability

Wales Golf is celebrating after winning the Best Sustainability Initiative, at the inaugural Welsh Sports Association Industry Awards.

The award recognised Wales Golf’s pioneering work leading the way in this crucial area, with golf clubs all over Wales changing to have a more positive impact on the environment.

Wales Golf were also shortlisted for the Golf is Good health campaign, spearheaded by Gareth Bale and developed by The R&A in conjunction with Wales Golf and MATTA, in the Most Influential Campaign (Communications, PR or Advocacy) award, sponsored by Loosemoores solicitors.

Canoe Wales and Newport Live were the other sporting bodies shortlisted in the sustainability initiative category, sponsored by Spindogs, while the awards evening was sponsored by Complete Background Screening.

The awards recognised and promoted the initiatives and successes of WSA members, while also communicating best-practice models and strategies that are helping the Welsh sport and leisure sector to develop.

Sustainability is a key part of Wales Golf's strategy

“We are delighted to have won this award as recognition for the hard work we have put into transforming this area,” said Wales Golf Chief Executive Hannah McAllister.

“Being recognised by the WSA makes this award especially meaningful as it brings together all the best work being done by governing bodies in Welsh sport. To be a big part of that conversation is a great achievement for Wales Golf.

“The fact we have made sustainability such a key part of our strategy going forward shows just how importantly we take this leadership role, while we were also delighted to be shortlisted for the Golf is Good campaign run in conjunction with The R&A and MATTA.”

The sustainability drive was kickstarted with a grant of £105,000 from the Welsh Government to pioneer sustainability in golf and provide an example to other sports across Wales. A special thanks goes to the Welsh Government, Event Wales department for supporting our plans and ambitions with this project.

The plan included efforts to raise awareness and action, along with a series of projects aimed at having a long term impact.

Importantly the project combined the needs of golf and the needs of local communities, making sustainability part of the Wales Golf 2023 Strategy and a crucial component of the sport’s future success across Wales.

Partnering with the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf

Wales Golf partnered with the international non-profit GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf, founded sixteen years ago to help inspire, support, and reward credible sustainability action and to strengthen and promote golf’s social and environmental value.

“This project has shown that golf can be a leader in sustainability in sport,” said Wales Golf sustainability manager Dilwyn Griffiths.

“We could not have done this without the help and support of the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf, who have been a key partner for us in this project.

“Golf courses can increase biodiversity, while leading the way for Welsh sport in attaining greater energy efficiency.

“There are too many projects at too many golf clubs throughout Wales for me to be able to mention them all, but there are many people in Welsh golf who have been enthused by this project.

“Together we have already achieved a huge amount, but going forward we have plans in place to make an even bigger positive impact on the environments at and around golf clubs - and as part of their communities.”

GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf Founder and Executive Director Jonathan Smith added, “We are delighted to see Wales Golf get this well-deserved recognition, and extremely proud to support them and member clubs on their journey.

“Golf has so much to offer to foster nature, conserve resources, strengthen communities and take climate action.”

Sustainability is now embedded in every aspect of Wales Golf work, apart from the grants to clubs there is also help and support, while the plans are constantly evolving and being updated.

Visit the Welsh Sports Association website to see the full list of winners from the Industry Award night.