POLITICIANS have criticised revelations that Ryder Cup volunteers face paying £75 for working at the Gleneagles tournament.
• MSPs voice anger as Ryder Cup organisers announce £75 charge for volunteers
• Tournament accused of excluding youngsters
Organisers of the European Tour were accused of excluding young people from taking up the posts on offer as the Scottish Trades Union Congress also condemned the recruitment drive’s charge.
The fee, which will cover food, drink and clothing for each participant, was called “disappointing” by Ms Ferguson.
“I am very disappointed people are being asked to pay to volunteer.
“I would have hoped organisers could have worked with local communities and focused on Scottish young people from across all backgrounds first, before opening this up to everyone, anywhere in the world.
“The Commonwealth Games has launched its recruitment drive, which I hope will enable Scots from all backgrounds access to one of the world’s leading sporting events. There is no financial barrier to letting them take part.
“Some of the greatest images of the London 2012 Games were the enthusiastic volunteers who reflected the diversity of the UK in their roles and there is no reason the Ryder Cup in Scotland should be any different.”
Stephen Boyd, asisstant secretary of the STUC, also criticised the announcement, saying: “When I heard the news, I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing.
“You would have thought this was a good chance to give young people a bit of work, especially given the economic climate. Clearly these jobs are open to middle-class people who are interested in gold and have the money to spend on the registration fee.
“It’s really quite unacceptable, and no doubt against the vision of what the Scottish Government had for thsi event.”
The Ryder Cup is expected to attract 45,000 spectators to Gleneagles in 2014. It is hoped the tournament will generate £100 million for the local economy.
Volunteers will be expected to carry out tasks such as carrying scoreboards, ensuring crowd safety, selling programmes and ferrying buggy shuttles around the course.
A spokesperson for the Ryder Cup said that registration fees for golf tournament volunteers were common practice.
“Registration fees are common to Ryder Cup volunteering programmes both in Europe and USA.”