Sport NI – ‘ISPS Handa World Invitational driving forward the equality agenda’

Sport NI has welcomed the innovative format of the latest international golf tournament to arrive in Northern Ireland as an important step towards putting womens sport on a par with mens.

When the ISPS Handa World Invitational begins on 28 July 2021 at the Galgorm Castle and Massereene Golf Clubs it will be the first European Golf tournament to offer equal prize money to both male and female golfers. Not only will the prize pool be split evenly, the competition will also offer the same visibility and game time for males and females ensuring that spectators will be able to see the full range of female golfing talent on display at the competition.

The prestigious tournament will count towards the European Tour’s Race to Dubai and carry Team Europe Ryder Cup points, while the women’s tournament will count towards the Race to the CME Globe for women on the LPGA Tour, the Race to Costa del Sol on the Ladies European Tour (LET) and Solheim Cup points for both Team Europe and Team USA. The  event will be broadcast around the world, reaching new audiences in North America, Asia and Europe through live coverage and a global viewing audience of over 640 million.

Antoinette McKeown, Chief Executive of Sport NI said, “It is fantastic the ISPS Handa World Invitational will be the first European Golf Tournament to offer gender equal prize money, and Northern Ireland can be proud that two of our golf clubs, Galgorm Castle and Massereene, will be hosts to this progressive move.

“Sport NI has been at the forefront in progressing gender equality in sport in Northern Ireland for many years now, and mainstreaming equality, diversity and inclusion will be key to our work over the next five years, as outlined in our draft Corporate Plan 2021 – 2026.

“Showcasing and rewarding competitors equally is evidence of the progress in gender equality in sport to date, but we must aim to make further strides in the years ahead.

“We hope all the competitors enjoy the tournament, and particularly wish success to our local golfers when they tee off and show why Northern Ireland can compete at a world class level in golf.”

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