Thousands of schoolchildren across Perth & Kinross are getting the opportunity to get up close and personal with sporting history thanks to the Solheim Cup Schools Trophy Tour ahead of the biggest event in women’s golf being staged at Gleneagles in September 2019.
The 2019 Solheim Cup will see the best female golfers from Europe and the USA compete at Gleneagles from 9-15 September 2019 and, with around 100,000 spectators expected and a TV audience reach of more than 600 million homes worldwide, is regarded as one of the biggest women’s sporting events on the planet.
To celebrate the event returning to Scotland for the first time in almost 20 years, the iconic trophy is scheduled to visit up to 19 schools across Perth & Kinross as organisers look to inspire the next generation of golfers in the region.
As well as being able to see and get their picture taken with the trophy, schoolchildren will be hearing inspirational talks from some of the people involved in the historic event, with many also being given the opportunity to take part in golf taster sessions through Perth & Kinross Council’s Active Schools Co-ordinators.
Sky Sports presenter and Solheim Cup Ambassador Di Dougherty visited both St Stephens Primary School in Blairgowrie and Balhousie Primary School in Perth as part of the trophy tour and was blown away by the enthusiasm of the children for the event.
Di, who will host the official opening ceremony for The 2019 Solheim Cup in front of a live global TV audience, said: “I was delighted to be asked to come along to accompany the Solheim Cup Schools Trophy tour and it was fantastic to see the children so excited by seeing the trophy first hand and getting to try out golf for themselves.
“Major golf events like The Solheim Cup really do have the potential to enthuse and engage children in sport in general and golf in particular and it would be great to see as many of these children at Gleneagles in September cheering on Team Europe and being inspired by world-class sporting action. It will be a terrific day out for families with free entry for children under 16 and a host of child-friendly activities and entertainment.”
The Solheim Cup Trophy Tour will also accompany a new 2019 Solheim Cup Educational Resource that has been rolled out to schools across the region. Originally developed by Perth and Kinross and Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils, in partnership with Education Scotland and The Scottish Government, ahead of The 2014 Ryder Cup, the resource has been updated and contains a range of resources for children and young people (from 3-18 years) to use at school or at home.
The resource has been designed for use across the curriculum and covers most aspects of organising a major sporting event from hospitality and tourism, event management, and marketing to the history of golf and the media. It has also been designed specifically to enable teachers to dip in and out, using as much or as little of the content as they require to create a lesson.
Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, Councillor Murray Lyle, said: “I’m really excited that the Solheim Cup is coming to Perth & Kinross and this enables us to highlight to our young people what a fantastic sport golf is. Also, it enables young and old to participate together and keep fit and healthy. Walking round an 18 hole golf course every week gives you an opportunity to exercise and also have fun at the same time. I hope the Solheim Cup will encourage young and old to get out and sample this fantastic sport.”