Colin Montgomerie makes special appearance in Newport city centre
- Newport Festival 2010 in full swing –
The Celtic Manor Wales Open is taking place in the City of Newport, South Wales this week, from 03 – 06 June. A major event on golf’s European Tour, the tournament will be staged at Newport’s luxurious five-star Celtic Manor Resort, the same venue that will host the 2010 Ryder Cup in October, when the finest golfers from Europe and the USA will return to battle it out over three days of intense team competition.
Ryder Cup team captain, Colin Montgomerie, made a special appearance in Newport’s city centre today to visit the City’s Museum, Library and Art Gallery in John Frost Square, before stopping to sign a specially created golf-themed SuperDragon. The SuperDragons project is part of the Newport Festival 2010 – a year-long celebration of Newport, with numerous events and activities designed to get people feeling good about the City in Ryder Cup year.
Leader of Newport City Council, Cllr Matthew Evans, said: “The Celtic Manor Wales Open promises to propel Newport further into the international spotlight and will provide a real curtain raiser to how the City is prepared to stage The Ryder Cup. The Ryder Cup effect has already led the Welsh Assembly and Newport City Council to unveil plans to bring more “mega” sporting events to Wales in the next ten years and I look forward to Newport playing an important role in delivering on that promise.”
From Thursday, many of Montgomerie’s European team hopefuls – including the likes of Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer, Ross Fisher, Alvaro Quiros and Wales’ own Rhys Davies – will be in Newport hoping to impress and further enhance their chances of returning to the City four months later for The Ryder Cup. It is the last chance all the players will get to play The Twenty Ten Course under tournament conditions before The Ryder Cup begins on 01 October.
Newport’s key location – it is under two hours from London by train and has excellent road links – and surrounding infrastructure means it has strong potential for future sporting prosperity.
Newport and The Ryder Cup
Since 2001, when Newport’s Celtic Manor Resort won the rights to host the 2010 Ryder Cup, South Wales’ newest city has been transformed. The announcement put Newport firmly on the sporting map and prompted Newport City Council, Newport Unlimited Regeneration Agency and the Welsh Assembly Government to announce plans to regenerate the City, using The Ryder Cup as the catalyst for more than 150 projects that could see as much as £2 billion of private and public sector investment.
Central to Newport’s regeneration is a City Enhancement Programme, which has been established to ensure that The Ryder Cup will leave a lasting legacy in Newport long after the world’s top golfers have left town. With more than 30 projects totalling £3.8 million identified, the framework will complement the existing regeneration programme and ensure Newport is in the best possible shape to host the 38th Ryder Cup matches in October, when Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter will prepare to do battle.
In a unique partnership, Newport has linked up with the European Tour to launch the official Ryder Cup Schools Education Programme, which has been rolled out in schools across South Wales to help children study through a number of golf-related themes and activities. A world first, the resources from the programme will also be used by schools in Medinah County, USA, home of the 2012 Ryder Cup. The European Tour is also highlighting the initiative to all five of the remaining bidding nations for the Ryder Cup in 2018 – France, Germany, Holland and Spain. Children will study themes such as numeracy, literacy, equalities, sustainability and technology, focussing on how golf and The Ryder Cup can be applied to real-life contexts.
Newport City Council’s sports development team continues to work with young people from all backgrounds to boost local interest and deliver enhanced opportunities to participate in golf. The Ryder Cup Wales Legacy Fund, which is supported by The European Tour, Professional Golfers Association and Golf Union Wales, has been set-up, with major investment in the Newport area already going to Caerleon Golf Club, which received a £120,000 grant to develop a new par three starter course, and Llanwern Golf Club, which was awarded £48,223 to make the course more accessible all year round via a new indoor golf academy.
The Ryder Cup’s economic impact on Newport
A number of international businesses and government organisations have relocated to Newport since The Ryder Cup was announced in 2001, and it is clear that Newport and its community have already felt a positive economic benefit. Hundreds of new jobs and investment opportunities have already boosted the local economy, meaning Newport’s Ryder Cup legacy promises to be felt long after the finest golfers from Europe and the USA have left town.
Ryder Cup Wales 2010 Ltd has estimated that the potential economic impact to Wales of the event will be between £73million and £96million*, with host-city Newport benefitting most from the thousands of visitors and golf fans that will arrive in four months time. The 2010 Ryder Cup has the potential to be the most economically beneficial of all time, surpassing even the 2006 matches that were played at Ireland’s K Club before the world’s financial markets crashed.
With such an exciting season of golf to look forward to, the number of golfing visitors to Wales has increased by 11 per cent since 2008. A recent study valued the economic impact of golf tourism in Wales, most of which is located within 60 miles of Newport, at £34.7 million in 2009**, with links courses Royal Porthcawl, Pyle & Kenfig, Southerndown, Pennard Links, Ashburnham and Machynys Peninsula offering tremendous value for money and the opportunity to play a number of championship courses within easy reach of The Ryder Cup venue.
Now in its 11th year, The Celtic Manor Wales Open 2010 represents a chance for Newport to demonstrate the positive impact the Ryder Cup has already had on the City and show the world, and Colin Montgomerie, that it is ready to host one of the biggest events in the global sporting calendar.
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* Source: The Potential Economic Impact of Ryder Cup Wales 2010 © Ryder Cup Wales 2010 Ltd / Sports Marketing Surveys