Women’s Golf Association of India is driving change for women and girls

Nestled in the heart of India, the Hero Women’s Indian Open 2023 brings with it a fervour for change. The tournament boasts a star-studded lineup of 120 players from over 25 countries. Among them, Diksha Dagar, the highest-ranked Indian in the Ladies European Tour (LET), takes centre stage as she leads the Indian charge. Her journey from the Deaflympics gold medalist to representing India in the Tokyo Olympics exemplifies the remarkable potential that women golfers possess.

A Star-Studded Lineup

Nestled in the heart of India, the Hero Women’s Indian Open 2023 brings with it a fervour for change. The tournament boasts a star-studded lineup of 120 players from over 25 countries. Among them, Diksha Dagar, the highest-ranked Indian in the Ladies European Tour (LET), takes centre stage as she leads the Indian charge. Her journey from the Deaflympics gold medalist to representing India in the Tokyo Olympics exemplifies the remarkable potential that women golfers possess.

The field is fierce, with top players like Ana Pelaez Trivino, and Trichat Cheenglab, and former champions like Christine Wolf and Becky Morgan gracing the event. The Hero Women’s Indian Open is more than just a tournament; it’s a showcase of women’s golf excellence on a global stage.

At the heart of this event is a mission to promote women’s golf in India and beyond. Bharatendu Kabi, Head of Corporate Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility at Hero MotoCorp, emphasized the tournament’s role in providing a global platform for budding players to showcase their talents. The Hero Women’s Indian Open has steadily grown in stature over the years, contributing significantly to women’s golf’s promotion in India.

Mrs. Kavita Singh, President of the Women’s Golf Association of India (WGAI), highlighted the remarkable progress of Indian women in golf. With the support of sponsors like Hero MotoCorp, DLF Ltd, and others, the journey from a handful of players to a thriving community of female golfers is awe-inspiring.

Changing the Game: Gender Equality in Golf

During the press conference, SheThePeople had the privilege of exclusively chatting with Champika Sayal, Secretary General of the Women’s Golf Association of India, who has been in the field for more than 4-5 decades. Sayal, reflecting on the progress, mentioned how women’s golf had been relegated to the background for years.

Champika emphasised the need for qualitative growth in women’s golf. She proudly mentioned that 14 players from India are listed in the European tour. This is a testament to the commitment of Indian women golfers and their ability to compete on the global stage.

However, she also highlighted the disparities that still exist, with only 58 women golfers compared to 300 men in India. 

The lack of support from the Indian government is a stark reality that women in golf face. Her words resonated with the hope that tournaments like the Hero Women’s Indian Open can change these dynamics.

In exclusive interviews with the players, their determination and passion shone through:

Diksha Dagar: Paving the Way for Indian Golf

Leading the Indian charge is the remarkable Diksha Dagar, the highest-ranked Indian in LET. With her exceptional skills and a burning desire for victory, she is eyeing the LET Order of Merit, an achievement that no other Indian woman golfer has attained. Diksha’s journey from being a Deaflympics gold medalist to representing India at the Tokyo Olympics is nothing short of inspiring. Her two-time LET victory and multiple Top-10 finishes this year make her a strong contender for the top spot.

In a candid conversation with SheThePeople, Diksha takes us on a journey through the pages of her remarkable life. From the days of a young amateur to her present status as a seasoned professional golfer, her words resonate with the challenges she’s faced, the barriers she destroyed and the dreams she’s pursued relentlessly.

Diksha is not one to shy away from addressing the disparities in the world of golf. She courageously emphasizes the need for government support, advocating for equal opportunities and prize money for women in the sport. She recognizes the importance of closing the gap between male and female golfers, making it clear that it’s not just about swinging clubs; it’s about swinging the doors open for every aspiring golfer, regardless of gender.

Talking about the tour, she is excited and considers the Hero Women’s Indian Open her second home, a place where she transitioned from an amateur to a professional, representing India at the 2018 Asian Games. 

When life’s rough patches hit, Diksha turns to books and the support of her loved ones. She’s seen the lows, the moments of doubt, but she’s emerged stronger each time. Her story is a testament to the fact that even in the darkest of tunnels, there’s always a glimmer of light if your intentions are right.

The Bakshi Sisters: Paving Their Own Paths

Jahanvi and Hitaashee Bakshi, Indian sisters with golfing dreams, shared their perspectives on the importance of representation in women’s tournaments. Jahanvi emphasised the unwavering support of her parents, who saw her as a child with potential, not limited by gender. She stressed the significance of media in propagating stories of female athletes and inspiring young girls to pursue sports careers.

Hitaashee, India’s rising golf star, echoed the sentiment, ‘The thought of entering the sport itself is a powerful one that makes a difference.’ She encouraged them to tap into their inner strength and take inspiration from role models.

Gaurika Bishnoi: Quality Over Quantity

Gaurika Bishnoi highlighted the progress made in women’s golf in India over the last few years. While acknowledging the disparity in numbers between male and female golfers, she emphasised that the quality of women’s golf in India matches that of the men.

Her message to young girls was clear: “We are the change, and we can be the change.” She urged them not to view golf as an elitist or male-dominated sport but as an avenue where they can excel.

So, come, witness the heroines of the greens, not just playing golf but playing for equality. Come, and support the women who are rewriting history one swing at a time. The Hero Women’s Indian Open 2023 is not just a golf tournament; it’s a testament to the power of women in sports. It’s a promise that in the world of sports, no game is just for men and the Hero Women’s Indian Open celebrates this promise with every swing

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