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Trio of appointments boost Wales Golf

Gareth Jenkins | Rebecca Hawke | Daniel Fullager (L-R)

Former England Golf men’s squad manager Gareth Jenkins has returned to his roots as Wales Golf Director of Performance and Pathway.

He is one of three new appointments at Welsh golf’s governing body, with Dan Fullager stepping up as Competitions Manager, and Rebecca Hawke taking over his old role as Competitions Coordinator, with particular responsibility for the PING Welsh Junior Tour.

Jenkins, whose family hail from Abertillery, once tried to play for Wales at amateur level before going on to represent England, and his appointment has delighted his Welsh Dad.

“It is funny because I tried to play for Wales when I was a kid and competing in events like the Aberconwy Trophy, but it was England who selected me and I was part of their squads at boys and men’s levels,” said 49-year-old Jenkins, who still plays off a handicap of plus 2.

“My Grandad was in mining from Abertillery, but moved to Coventry when a new coal seam was found there.

“However, the Welsh side of my family has always been strong in our household, my Dad is chuffed to bits that I am finally coming home to the right nation.”

Jenkins takes over the new role with plenty of experience in elite golf development. “I have been involved in golf for more than 20 years since starting with the Golf Foundation,” he said.

“I had the opportunity to do some research at Birmingham University into elite performance in golf, seeing what the top performers on the European Tour had done, and then went to work at England Golf in elite pathways.

“I looked after the men’s squad for the last 6 years, as well as being involved with men, women, boys and girls at county level, so now I am looking forward to transferring that knowledge to help Welsh golf at National, European and World levels.

“I have always enjoyed working with the Welsh coaches such as Neil Matthews (Men’s and Boys National Coach) and this is a great opportunity to work together and put everything I have learned into practice to help the male and female game.

“I am looking forward to learning more about the clubs, the events and coaching in Wales. There are a lot of great things already in place being delivered by a passionate workforce of coaches and volunteers. I can’t wait to get started to lead and support all concerned to bring more success to the programme.

“I know there are some excellent players in Wales and we will be looking to support them, while also strengthening the pathways and developing those underneath.”

Fullager steps up to the Competitions Manager role with a deep knowledge of all the events in Wales.
There has been plenty of development of the competitions in Wales over the last few years with that set to continue under new management, for instance a Women’s Victory Shield foursomes event being held for the first time this summer.

“I would want to continue to build on the good work that has been done, using that as a platform to take events up another notch,” said the 26-year-old.

“It helps that I know a lot of people already who are involved in competitions, the stakeholders, club members and managers, which helps in building relationships.

“We can always move forwards with events such as the Women’s Victory Shield, and it is encouraging to see we have already had some good entries for that this summer.

“There is a lot going on in the background to take competitions forward with a more modern and inclusive approach.”

Sports science graduate Rebecca Hawke, who also did a Masters in Nutrition and Physiology in Sport, has taken over the role of Competitions Coordinator with particular responsibility for the PING Welsh Junior Tour.

“It is nice to be part of an organisation which is really inclusive and a big part of my role will be encouraging children to get involved, making it enjoyable as well as a chance to showcase their skills,” she said.

“Football has been my main sport, but I am a social golfer and looking forward to being involved in the events around Wales.”