One of the most iconic trophies in sport, the Claret Jug, is set to tour Glasgow schools this week launching Glasgow as the first Partner City to The Open. Over 1,000 primary school pupils will have the opportunity to get up close to the historic trophy ahead of The 145TH Open at Royal Troon from 10-17 July, 2016.
The tour of local schools is part of a series of Glasgow-based activities that will celebrate the importance of the city as a transport and accommodation hub as thousands of golf fans from across the globe travel to Host Region, South Ayrshire, on the west coast of Scotland for The Open.
An event impact study carried out by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University estimates that The Open will deliver a total economic impact of £8 million to Glasgow during the week of the Championship. The city was recently ranked fifth in the world in the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards.
R&A Executive Director – Championships, Johnnie Cole-Hamilton said, “The Open takes place at the great links courses across Great Britain and Ireland and the popularity of the event means that working in partnership with the closest major city is integral to the success of the Championship.
“The people of Glasgow are renowned for the warm welcome they extend to high-profile events and we are now delighted to formally recognise Glasgow as the first Partner City to The Open.”
Councillor George Redmond, Glasgow City Council’s Executive Member for Jobs, Business and Investment and Vice-Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau said, “As a global top five sports city, we’re delighted to have been named the first Partner City to The Open, which reflects our enviable reputation for working with the world’s leading major events.
“From our world-class hotels and restaurants to our unrivalled shopping experience and friendly taxi drivers, the thousands of visitors attending The Open at Royal Troon can expect a thoroughly warm welcome during their time in the city, which will considerably boost our tourism economy. We look forward to playing our part in delivering what will be a great celebration of golf.”
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External affairs, said, "The Scottish Government, in partnership with VisitScotland, South Ayrshire Council, Glasgow City Council and The R&A, is working to maximise the economic benefits from the hosting of The Open at Royal Troon.
“The priority is to promote the event within key transport hubs across Glasgow, as well as ensuring activities are delivered to encourage and inspire Scotland’s young people to take an interest in the game.
“For everyone in Glasgow – from taxi drivers and shop assistants to hoteliers and restaurateurs – The Open provides an opportunity for everyone to play their part in extending the warmest welcome to guests from near and far.”
A photographic exhibition will begin at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on 13 June celebrating the history of The Open in the west of Scotland. It will showcase the best images from editions of the Championship held at Royal Troon, Turnberry and Prestwick, where The Open began in 1860.
The Claret Jug will visit school assemblies at Alexandra Parade Primary, Haghill Park Primary, St Philomena’s Primary and St Rose of Lima Primary and be on display at the Glasgow Secondary Schools Citywide Golf Competition next month at Lethamhill Golf Course on 2 June. The Claret Jug tour is part of a wider schools programme in partnership with Host Region, South Ayrshire Council that will see the trophy visit schools in Ayr in the coming weeks.
2016 marks the 20th anniversary of The Open’s Kids Go Free initiative which began at Royal Troon in 1997. Children under the age of 16 are admitted free of charge to the Championship and discounted tickets are available for youth aged 16-21.