England and Wales (North) Region
13 Jan 14
Iain Lancaster has been appointed the regional development officer for the fledgling Lancashire County Golf Partnership.
The 33-year-old sportaholic (left, with England Golf regional development officer Sean Hammill) will be tasked with delivering a number of projects to increase participation in the game at all levels and supporting clubs in recruiting and retaining members.
"I can't wait to get started," he enthused. "I've tried my hand at almost every sport going but golf has always been a mainstay so this is a dream job."
"I hope to mirror the best practices adopted in other regions and put my own spin on some of the elements by applying techniques I've used in the past."
Lancaster, who will liaise with the men's County Union, Lancashire Ladies' Golf Association and The PGA, will take up his position early in the New Year.
The body comes under the umbrella of the England Golf Partnership which brings together England Golf and The PGA with the support of the Golf Foundation who provide funding along with Sport England and other such grant-awarding agencies and sponsors.
Its ultimate aim, through its Whole Sport Plan, is to increase and widen participation in golf, from grass roots level, and achieve the vision of making England the world's leading golf nation by 2020.
Lancashire is the latest of more than 30 participating English counties.
"I've already done some research on local clubs. It all looks very exciting and I hope to hit the ground running," said Lancaster, who lives in Widnes.
He played semi-pro football during his time at university in the North East, turning out as a central midfielder for several regional sides including Whitby Town reserves.
His first golf club was Gainsborough and for the last four years he has been a member at Eccleston Park in Rainhill.
"My target was to get to single figures last season but I missed it by one point," said the 10 handicapper. "But I won the club championship, the singles matchplay and scored my first hole in one!"
Lancaster has spent the last five years working for a cycling charity in Warrington which makes the cycling more accessible to everybody with a strong emphasis on disabled people.
"We were spread across the UK but the majority of the work was in the North West," he said.
Previous roles were at Pendle Leisure Trust in Colne as a sports scientist, where he developed and promoted healthy lifestyles, and as deputy club manager at the Spirit Health Club in Runcorn.
He was educated at Huntcliff Comprehensive School and John Leggott College in Scunthorpe and at Teesside University, where he gained a BSc (hons) in Sports Science which embraced modules including physiology and advanced biomechanics.
England Golf Regional Development Officer Sean Hammill said: "I am delighted to have Iain as part of the team and Lancashire Golf will benefit greatly by having a dedicated development officer to help grow the game across the county.
"It will be good to transfer the experience he has gained in growing other participation sports to golf.
"There is huge potential in Lancashire and we look forward to working with clubs and facilities. We will be holding a development conference early this year to launch the development plan and explain how clubs can get involved in various programmes."
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