Golf4Girls4Life festivals support breast cancer research


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2018 marks the first year that the Play in Pink scheme was introduced to the Golf4girls4life festivals and over the past week over 130 girls played in pink at this year’s girls golf Halloween festivals. 

 Some of the play in Pink participants enjoying the day
After six successful years of working with lady captains around Ireland, Miriam Hand decided this year to spread her Play in Pink fundraisers into girls golf, with tremendous success. After six successful years of working with lady captains around Ireland, in conjunction with the ILGU  to develop golf days across a wide range of clubs, where golfers are encouraged to dress in pink and support breast cancer research, it’s great to see the initiative brought to the next generation.
After lending a hand at one of the Halloween festivals hosted by the Royal Curragh golf club, I can testify to seeing an overwhelming amount of pink clothing and pink dress code matched nicely with the little pink faces running around since it was freezing out there! The days are a lot of fun and incorporate different warm up games, and dances, including (on the day I helped out) a slightly mortifying moment for myself when I volunteered to demonstrate the floss dance. We then headed to the course shortly after, (thank god), which allowed me to retreat back into my comfort zone; sharing golf tips as opposed to dance tips.
I’ve taken part in a couple of Golf4Girls4Life festivals and it was great to see a lot of familiar faces returning to the events. I think the main concern for the progression of girls golf is how we compete with other team sports by making golf more inclusive and available. Personally, I think these events are a great way of building a sense of community that beginners really need.  One girl in particular was battling with the option of going to a Golf4Girls4life festival or a pony camp, thankfully she chose golf! 

Club support and participation manager, Anne McCormack, asked the same girl after the day was over whether she thinks she made the right decision coming to the golf day, to which she replied “Mary is more fun than a pony”. Apart of the obvious beam of delight this brought from me, I think this reflection of the day just highlights how important it is to have enthusiastic ambassadors at these events to inspire and show how much fun golf can be. 
This year’s events were particularly special with Miriam Hand on board to raise awareness around breast cancer. I spoke to Miriam briefly at the Royal Curragh to get a sense of who are the most important drivers of this great cause.
“Without the support of the ILGU these events wouldn’t take place,” she said and after raising €150,000 for Breast Cancer research from golf events alone in 2017 Miriam credits the hard work of both the ILGU and Lady captains around the country for pushing this cause forward.
“I place a lot of faith in the lady captains and vice captains to run and encourage these events throughout the year, and I believe the funds raised are a reflection of how dedicated these women are.” 
With the continued support of the ILGU, Miriam is hoping to reach the €175,000 mark this year from the Play in Pink golf days and as always she can count of the support of myself and the rest of the team at Irish Golfer Magazine to help promote and generate awareness fro the days.

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