Coates welcomes Tokyo 2020 golf venue embracing gender equality
21 March 2017
TOKYO 2020: AOC President John Coates has played a key role in achieving gender equality at the venue of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games golf tournaments.
The Kasumigaseki Country Club has long had restrictions on women’s membership, including limiting the days women were allowed to play on the course.
These conditions were in conflict with the non-discrimination principles of the IOC and Coates, as Chair of the Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission, worked closely with the local organising committee to ensure they were changed.
Those discussions have paid off with the board of the Kasumigaseki Country Club voting to allow women to become full members of the club at an extraordinary board meeting overnight.
“As we have said all along, gender equality is a fundamental principle of the Olympic Movement and an important part of Olympic Agenda 2020, and we believe this decision now reflects this,” Coates said.
“While we had made our position on non-discrimination clear as soon as we became aware of their rules, it was important that the members of the club be given the opportunity to make the change in their good time.
“It is their club and at the end of the day we had to be welcomed by them.”
President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee Yoshiro Mori thanked Coates for his contribution to achieving the outcome.
“Mr. Coates, I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to you, Mr. Dubi (IOC Games Director) and Mr. McConnell (IOC Sports Director) for your enormous contribution on this crucial matter,” he said.
“Together with the IOC, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee looks forward to working even closer with the Club, the IGF, the JGA and the JOC to make thorough preparations towards the golf competition at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.”
Kasumigaseki Country Club is situated in the Saitama prefecture about 30 kilometres north of central Tokyo.
After a 112-year Olympic hiatus golf returned to the Olympic Games in Rio and will make its fourth Games appearance in Tokyo.