GOLF clubs in Herefordshire have helped the county association become the first in the country to be awarded a national golf accreditation for safeguarding.

The Shropshire & Herefordshire Union of Golf Clubs and Shropshire Ladies County Golf Association have achieved the 'SafeGolf' award

Mark Romasiuk, England Golf's county club support officer, present the accolade.

He said that he was delighted that their efforts to grow the game and safeguard it's participants can be recognised.

"Being one of the first counties in the country to achieve this award is great news for the game locally," said Romasiuk.

He is looking forward to continuing the excellent work the counties have started and ensuring clubs are able to meet the SafeGolf standard.

SafeGolf is a partnership of UK golf bodies committed to promoting a safe and positive environment for all those participating, working and volunteering in the sport of golf.

The SafeGolf partnership consists of members from the golfing bodies across Great Britain and Ireland and has been established to help golf respond to the issue of child protection in sport.

Its mission is to safeguard the welfare of children and young people, as well as adults at risk, in the sport of golf.

SHUGC and SLCGA administer county golf for 31 clubs who are active within their community with schools links etc, and directly support sport festivals and the like.

All 31 golf clubs have the target of achieving SafeGolf accreditation and, throughout the counties a number have already been accredited, with the others working towards that goal.

The target is for all to be accredited by the end of the year.

Clubs throughout Shropshire and Herefordshire are always keen to welcome those new to golf, be it juniors or adults, and all ensure that safety is very much part of this great sport.

County junior organisers Charles Sievewright and Viv Davies have expressed their delight in the achievement of SafeGolf accreditation.

They said that safety for all golfers has always been paramount within the counties, and it is important for parents and carers to know that their children, and vulnerable adults, are in good hands when out on the golf course, in the clubhouse and coached by county golf professionals.