Ryder Cup delivers on EU agenda

The benefits of The 2014 Ryder Cup to Scotland and to Europe were set out in a high profile event in Brussels earlier this month.Ryder Cup in Brussels

Representatives from international governments and business heard from the 2014 European Team Captain, Paul McGinley, Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport and the European Commission about the significant benefits of the Ryder Cup to both the host nation and the rest of Europe.

Delegates from across Europe attended the event, The Ryder Cup 2014 – Celebrating a European Success Story, which was held at Scotland House, Brussels.Yves Le Lostecque, European Commission, Head of Sport Unit, said: “Sport has become an important issue at European level. That was not always the case but now we have an article in the European treaty and have been asked by the Member States to take on the sporting dimension and develop it. Golf is a sport that is becoming more and more popular and transmitting very good values so I am very interested in the future and collaborations with the golf world on issues such as social inclusion, economic investment, sustainability and health.”

The discussion and question and answer session focused on key themes, including:

•    The economic, trade and tourism benefits that sport and major sporting events of the scale of The Ryder Cup         can bring.
•    The Ryder Cup as a symbol and celebration of European unity
•    How The Ryder Cup can inspire young people across Europe to lead more active and healthier lives.

Keynote speakers at the event included The 2014 Ryder Cup European Team Captain, Paul McGinley, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison, Director of Ryder Cup Europe, Richard Hills, VisitScotland’s Chairman, Mike Cantlay, and Yves Le Lostecque, European Commission, Head of Sport Unit. A network reception was held after the event at Scotland House.

Shona Robison, said: “The Ryder Cup will undoubtedly bring huge economic benefits to Scotland. The 45,000 spectators a day and a global audience of half a billion people  translates into a great opportunity for local and national businesses and our tourism industry.  Club Golf is an excellent example of how we are encouraging a fresh generation of golfing talent and increasing physical activity. Through golf participation, scholarships, employment and procurement, the Ryder Cup 2014 will be a definitive example of a sporting success story.”

The 2014 Ryder Cup European Team Captain, Paul McGinley said: “The 2014 Ryder Cup is a fantastic opportunity to reach out to people across Europe and encourage them to take up golf and healthier lifestyles. This is a genuinely global event which inspires young people and brings Europe together to cheer on our team.”

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “The Ryder Cup forms a key part of what promises to be a monumental year for Scottish tourism. It is the year we welcome the world and, together with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Homecoming, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles will mean that the planet’s focus is firmly on Scotland. We are known throughout the world as the undisputed Home of Golf and this is a fantastic opportunity to prove it.”

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