Women & Golf speaks to Di Horsley, the Chairman of the England Golf Trust, a charitable organisation that provides financial support to young golfers at any level.

Di Horsley

Women & Golf speaks to Di Horsley, the Chairman of the England Golf Trust, a charitable organisation that provides financial support to young golfers.

The England Golf Trust provides financial support for young golfers at any level who are in financial need. Grants are allocated three times a year and three types of bursaries are awarded annually (Uzielli, Bellamy and England Golf bursaries) of up to £1,500 a year.

As Chairman, Di Horsley has the responsibility of ensuring that the Trust makes the most of its resources. To do this, the organisation works closely with England Golf and the Golf Foundation to complement other available support. The EGT has six trustees who organise a National Ladies Stableford Pairs competition and facilitate a group of young ambassadors who promote golf and the trust to young people by getting involved in projects like Girls Golf Rocks and Get into Golf.

Tell us about your career

Throughout my career I have been lucky to do the things that I love best, so it hasn’t really felt like work. All my roles have involved helping others in business and sport to achieve their goals through performance coaching. From teaching a young person to swim, developing grassroots clubs, to working with the Taunton NHS Foundation Trust and Severn Trent Water by helping staff to manage change. As a volunteer I am now Chairman of the England Golf Trust, a Board member of the Golf Foundation and a Non-Executive Director of Advantage Creative which provides advice and funding to creative industries, plus I’m still trying to help others to achieve their goals! 

What challenges does the EGT face?

Finding young golfers in need is a key challenge for EGT.

"If everyone who reads this tells at least two other people, it will help spread the word so we can keep young golfers playing". 

Raising funds is also a challenge, so captains please consider EGT when looking for a charity, make a bequest, enter the National Pairs Stableford or just donate via the website as all monies go back to young golfers.

Present Trustees are volunteers who have been involved with juniors in golf. Although England Golf provide us with some administrative support for which we are extremely grateful, we do need to identify potential new trustees with different skills to help the trust grow. Marketing and social media are two areas that have been identified to date.

Success stories must be satisfying, what have been your highlights?

My personal favourite is 10-year-old Lucy who was introduced to golf via the wii. She attended a free session at a golf range and then her grandmother paid for some lessons. At EGT’s official launch at Kings Norton Golf Club in Birmingham, Lucy stood up and explained what difference golf had made to her life. Everyone including the then CEO of the PGA and Chairman of England Golf had a lump in their throat. The difference in terms of her school achievements and life skills, as well as the improvement in her golfing ability, has been incredible.

The key to any young person taking up golf is feeling welcome and being able to have some fun. This removes the fear of ‘doing something wrong’ that we feel when trying something new.

Feedback from the Young Ambassadors has shown the benefit of having peers as role models. Girls can see the opportunities to make friends and socialise as well as learn new skills. Group coaching is a great introduction but it is essential that this is followed up on the course. Team games such as Texas scrambles and the new GolfSixes are ways to have fun and test abilities. Include members and you can teach the etiquette of the game and how to score.

Where do you play golf?

I am a member of Branston Golf and Country Club in Burton-on-Trent. I captain an over 50s ladies team which plays in a knock-out competition (Taskers) as well as playing for club teams and the Staffordshire County Vets 2nd team.

Find out more at www.englandgolftrust.org


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