G Collins & Sons, based in the High Street, has stepped into the fore to offer the professional sportswomen help with international travel expenses as they compete in the Ladies’ European Tour.
UK golfers Gabriella Cowley, Cloe Frankish and Chloe Williams are represented by PR Sports Management (PRSM), who had told the jewellers about the lack of funding in the women’s game.
“When PRSM told me they had no funding, it was absolutely shocking,” said G Collins Director Josh Collins.
“They need a bit of a boost and a platform. This is not about shouting or showing off, it’s just about showing a little bit of support.”
And, he said, he would be there in person this June, to watch the three women compete at the Aramco Team Series event in St Albans, which is sanctioned by the Ladies’ European Tour.
“I will be there to support,” he promised.
The expense of tournaments is considerable, said one of the sponsored golfers, 25-year-old Gabriella Cowley: “Tournaments average about £1,000, and there are about 40 tournaments a year, so about £40,000.”
Professional golfers without sponsorship face serious obstacles to success, added Cloe Frankish, 22.
She turned pro after tour school at 17, but by 2020 had no sponsorship and missed out on UK government pandemic support due to the ‘furlough loophole’, which affected the self-employed.
“In 2020 I had no sponsorship. I funded my own season doing delivery work,” she told the Times.
“But once you get into it, you just love it, and don’t stop,” she stressed.
“Lots of dads and granddads take their daughters – my granddad was the one who got me playing.
“Pitch and putt also gives people a chance to try. If you start enjoying it, you go to the driving range and start building it up.”
PRSM Managing Director Billy Gowing added: “Interest in the ladies’ game from sponsors and spectators alike is definitely growing at a rapid pace.”