BIGGA marks International Women's Day

8 March 2021 Announcement
Some of the ladies of BIGGA pictured at Continue to Learn 2020


It’s International Women’s Day and to mark the occasion BIGGA has reflected upon some of the achievements of female members of the association and the team over the past year. 

You may think that greenkeeping is just for men, but these ladies have shown that’s far from true. 

Here are some of the highlights from the past year:

Lauren and Sami graduate from Women in Golf initiative

Lauren Frazer and Sami Strutt took part in the Women in Golf leadership initiative, graduating via Zoom in 2021


BIGGA is a signatory of The R&A’s Women in Golf Charter and throughout 2020 and 2021 BIGGA’s Lauren Frazer and Sami Strutt participated in the Women in Golf Leadership initiative.

Lauren is BIGGA’s Business Development Manager and said: “The BIGGA team does have a high proportion of female members, but I was acutely aware that isn’t the case across the golf industry, where women aren’t widely represented. This initiative by The R&A gave me the opportunity to meet up and network with other female golf industry pioneers across the country, at all levels of the sport, and contribute to providing new opportunities for women to make their make in this fantastic industry.”

Lucy is appointed our first female regional chairperson

Lucy Sellick (second from left) joined the National Board and regional chairs at BIGGA House in early 2020


Lucy Sellick, course manager at Wenvoe Castle and Wales’ first female head greenkeeper, became chairperson of BIGGA’s South West & South Wales Region, becoming the first woman to hold the position within the association.

At the 2021 AGM, BIGGA amended our Articles of Association to replace each mention of “chairman” in official documentation to “chairperson” to reflect our gender equal stance and the growing role of female members in the Association. 

Gemma, Zoe and Kimberley become Future Turf Managers


Female members of the Association participated in all our initiatives throughout the past year, with Gemma St John of Brokenhurst Manor and Zoe Chisnall of Felixstowe Ferry becoming the first to take part in the influential Future Turf Managers Initiative hosted by Jacobsen.

Following in their footsteps in 2021 will be Kimberley Yeldham of Barnham Broom. 

Laura becomes an ICL Scholar

Each year BIGGA Partner ICL invites five BIGGA members to take part in the Continue to Learn programme as ICL Scholars and this year Laura Sayer-Hall, of Ardfin Golf Course on the Isle of Jura was selected to take part.

Laura said: "I think it’s important at the early stages of your career to attend as many educational events as possible so as to build knowledge quickly and have this tie in with the practical work you’re doing on course. Attending events (particularly BTME) is also an excellent way of keeping motivation levels up for the coming season after a long dark winter.

"I’d like to thank ICL for this scholarship opportunity, as it has enabled me full access to the conference, multiple classes, as well as all the webinars.  This has been really beneficial to my career, and has allowed me to build upon my current knowledge in a wide range of directions.  I’d highly recommend it to anyone who is wanting to develop their greenkeeping career further."

Female members of the Association will also participate in the Open Volunteer Support Team and the wide range of other opportunities available to all members that take place each year.


Sami leads the Continue to Learn programme

Sami Strutt led the hosting of the 2021 Continue to Learn education programme


At Continue to Learn 2021, which was hosted entirely online for the first time ever, there were eight female speakers taking part in the education programme, which was put together by BIGGA’s Sami Strutt and her talented Learning & Development team. 

Sami, who has been with the Association since 1993, said: “BIGGA’s Team L&D comprises three women, Deb Burnett, Fiona Lyttle and myself.  Together we have over 50 years’ experience driving and delivering education to the greenkeeping industry. Leading in areas of education such as apprenticeships and initiatives including Future Turf Managers and Toro Student of the Year and including development opportunities such as Continue to Learn and our Continuing Professional Development programme. As talented women continue to enter the greenkeeping and wider golf industry it is a joy to see them step onto the international stage at events such as Continue to Learn, to share their knowledge and expertise.”

Thank you to all the female members of the BIGGA team and our members who have done so much to promote equality across the greenkeeping professional and wider golf industry. 

To find out more about BIGGA membership and to get involved with the association, explore our website, including the Membership Benefits area.


Karl Hansell
BIGGA | Communications Executive


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