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WI getting involved in Midlands Golf Week
July 12, 2011

The Women's Institute might have a stereo-typed reputation for jam making, but one group from the Midlands is challenging that view by taking on a range of activities from belly-dancing to cocktail-making, to jewellery design and cider tasting.

In keeping with their enthusiasm for new experiences, Stratford WI Lite members will be making their way to Stratford Oaks Golf Centre later this month for a night out at the golf.

The club is hosting a special taster session for the ladies in the middle of Midlands Golf Week, a major new initiative to open up the sport to people of all ages and abilities across the region.

The women will get the chance to try their hand at the basic skills of the sport out on the driving range and the short game area, enjoy a competition and a social evening in the clubhouse afterwards while advice will be available for anyone wishing to take their golfing interest further through golf lessons or club membership.

"This specially-arranged taster session shows how golf is reaching out to potential new players to show what it has to offer in terms of a sporting challenge, a healthy exercise option and an enjoyable social life," explained Julia Burton, county development officer for the Warwickshire Golf Partnership.

"Like the WI, golf might have suffered from stereo-typing in the past but a lot of work has been done to break down the barriers so that it is easier than ever for more people to access golf. Now both the young and older people are discovering just how much fun golf can be.

"This event for the WI shows what can be arranged and would be suitable for other groups, organisations or businesses," added Julia, who can be contacted by emailing

The event will be also be attended by Jim Robinson, chief executive officer of the English Women's Golf Association, and Sharon Heeley, regional development officer for the EWGA and English Golf Union. It takes place on Wednesday, July 20, from 6.45pm.

WI Lite is one of a growing number of 'next generation' WIs. While part of and still embracing the same values as the traditional WI organisation, WI Lite seeks to attract a broader range of women with a wider variety of events.

WI Lite Stratford branch has proved hugely popular with more than 110 members from in and around Stratford. Events have included a burlesque evening to wine tasting, self-defence to a day at the races while the group also has its own darts team.

President is Anne Marcantonio, who says of the golf event: "Golf is one of those things that a lot of people would like to try, but they are reluctant to just turn up at a golf club for lessons.

"This is an opportunity for our ladies to enjoy an introduction to the game of golf in the company of friends along with some fun competitions. If there was enough interest we could add a golf society to the activities we offer.

"There is a lot more to the WI than meets the eye - particularly at WI Lite Stratford. It's great to offer our members so many opportunities to try new skills as well as holding fund-raising events to support local charities such as the Shakespeare Hospice and Warwick Hospital Breast Unit."

Anyone interested in further details about WI Lite can visit the website or email

For more details about Midlands Golf Week visit

A number of projects aimed at increasing participation in golf are run under the umbrella of the Warwickshire Golf Partnership. This is a collaboration of a number of stakeholders in the sport including the English Golf Union, The English Women's Golf Association, the PGA, the Golf Foundation and Sport England.

In Warwickshire the partnership is supported by the Warwickshire Union of Golf Clubs (WUGC), the Warwickshire Ladies' County Golf Association (WLCGA) and the Warwickshire PGA.

For more details of the activities in Warwickshire visit

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