Golf Ireland’s controversial decision not to send a team to the Senior Women’s European Team Championship to Bulgaria at the end of the month is expected to lead to improvements across the senior program.
While the UK was on a COVID-19 red list of banned countries for Bulgarian authorities, players who were to be selected for the Irish squad could not make it to the BlackSeaRama Golf Resort from August 31 to September 4.
Rather than sending the best available players to an event Ireland won in 2013 and 2016, Golf Ireland decided it would be unfair to send a team that was not fully representative, a decision that did not was not well received by the breeders, who only learned of the decision via social media.
“I think if players based in Northern Ireland (or Great Britain) are not available for some reason, and it turns out that it was not a player based in Switzerland, then we select from those available, “said coach Valerie Hassett. “Simple and not political.”
The logic of Golf Ireland is that we also withdrew from the July European Boys and Girls Team Championships in Denmark and Portugal for similar reasons.
On this occasion, players and team officials based in Northern Ireland were reportedly subject to a ten-day quarantine on their return from the two countries.
Senior female coaches, who also include Mary McKenna and team captain Marilyn Henderson, have called on Golf Ireland CEO Mark Kennelly and high performance director Neil Manchip to no avail.
However, Manchip has agreed to review the whole program for seniors, which should lead to better organization and better communication in the future.
Ireland still intend to participate in the Senior Men’s European Team Championship in Slovakia on the same dates, as players from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will be able to play without any restrictions.