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The Ladies European Tour (LET) gave the fledgling Women's Golf Association of India a big boost by appointing Mrs. Kavita Singh, the current President of the WGAI, to the LET Board as one of its non-executive directors for a period of three years.
Mrs. Singh, under whose direction and guidance, the Hero Women's Indian Open has become a big success on the LET and Ladies Asian Golf Tour (LAGT) is the first woman Non-executive Director and the first Indian Woman to receive an appointment to the renowned International golf board.
"It is indeed my proud privilege to announce that our President Mrs Kavita Singh has been appointed to the Ladies European Tour Board as a non-executive Director for a period of three years," said Champika Sayal, Secretary-General of WGAI.
She added, "The appointment of Mrs Kavita Singh reiterates India's standing in Women's Golf on a global scenario and is a big recognition of the growth of the sport in India."
The usual composition of the LET Board is Chairman, Executive Director, four players directors and three non-executive directors.
This is a big step forward for Women's Golf in India particularly since it is to be included for the 2016 Olympics. Also India now has a full-fledged women's tour, which from this year has also opened its doors to limited international participation in domestic events. The prize money has jumped from Rs. 42 lakhs to Rs. 70 lakhs for the 12 events on the schedule.
In addition, more and more Indian women like Sharmila Nicollet, who qualified for the LET through the Q-School, Smriti Mehra and upcoming Nalini Singh Siwach are looking at regular participations in Asia and Europe.
The LET first arrived in India in 2007 but only since 2010 has it become regular on the LET calendar. The Women's Indian Open event carried a purse of $ 300,000 and over the years has since stars like Yani Tseng, now World No. 1, Laura Davies multiple major winner, LPGA player Pornanong Phatlum have won the Indian Open. The 2011 winner was Caroline Hedwall.
The WGAI, which runs women's professional golf in India, was formed in 2005-06. It has a regular season with 12 tournaments, totaling Rs. 70 lakhs as prize money. The WGAI Board has Mr. Pawan Munjal as the Patron-in-chief besides women's golf doyens, Sita Rawlley and Anjani Desai as Patrons. There are 13 other members on the Board, including Mrs. Kavita Singh, Champika Sayal, Mr. VS Singh, Treasurer and Mr. Devin Narang, Vice President, the current office bearers of the WGAI.
At the LET, the Board of Directors are the guardians of the Tour and are responsible for Financial management, long range planning, Direction of policy and the Management of the Tour. They are also have responsibility tournament scheduling, tournament purses, tournament operations, sponsor relationships, member benefits, the promulgation of disciplinary regulations and material, legal and fiscal matters.
The LET is Europe's leading women's professional golf tour and formed as the WPGA in 1978. Over the last 33 years, the tour has developed into a truly international organisation and in 2011 will operate 28 golf tournaments in 19 different countries, including India, which is the only destination in South Asia. The LET professional players represent 34 countries and their game is broadcast in 240 million homes in 80 countries around the globe.
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