November 2011

The Sports Trust gives a big boost to the SAGDB

Andy Scott from Nedbank presents Ken Viljoen MD Golf development with a cheque

The Sports Trust, in partnership with Nedbank and Sun International, have made their second significant contribution to golf development through the provision of golfing kit and equipment to the SAGDB. The items were officially handed over at Wanderers Golf Club during November.

Funding for this kit and equipment was raised at the 2010 Sports Trust Golf Challenge, an annual golf day hosted at Sun City on the Monday after the Nedbank Golf Challenge and which raises over R1-million each year for the Trust. Rob Fleming, Chairman of The Sports Trust commented that "The Sports Trust have supported two projects this year for golf development and this provides a unique opportunity to impart some of golf's values, such as honesty and respect, on young and impressionable members of the communities. Sport and recreation programmes, such as these offered by the SAGDB, continue to play a significant role in building healthy and vibrant communities.

The SAGDB believes in making golf accessible to all South Africans, and is committed to developing the game across the country and creating opportunities where they have been limited. A total of R 500,000 has been donated towards golfing equipment and kit from The Sports Trust. This is being distributed by the SAGDB to players and coaches.

The TaylorMade equipment is solely being used for the SAGDB national squad. The players in this group are the leading youngsters in their programmes across the country and would therefore benefit the most from this donation. As this is some of the latest equipment available, there is no question that it will go a long way towards ensuring that these players are able to compete on equal footing with their more fortunate counterparts.

The bulk of the clothing will be utilised for the elite regional squads that participate in regional junior golf tournaments and those players that are sent to the national order of merit tournaments. This will ensure uniformity amongst the SAGDB players, but more importantly will give them renewed pride in their positions as flag bearers for this programme.

The SAGDB will also be purchasing clothing for all their coaches. The idea behind this is both to reward the development coaches for the outstanding work that they are doing to produce players of quality, but also to ensure that SAGDB players and staff are easily identifiable. Hopefully this will make the golfing public more aware of their presence and recognise the difference that they are making in South Africa's golfing landscape.

It has been agreed that this donation will become an annual one, and that next year, the SAGDB is considering using this donation to purchase junior practice equipment for the beginners in its programme.

"As a founding trustee of The Sports Trust and a long-standing partner of Sun International, it is rewarding to see the benefits of our relationship extending to communities in need. Through Nedbank Golf Challenge related projects we are able to raise much needed funds for golf development in South Africa," said Andy Scott, Head of Nedbank Group Sponsorships.

The SAGDB will also be sending two players to compete at this year's Sports Trust Golf Challenge. 15-year old Keelan Africa from Riverside Golf Club in Worcestor in the Boland and 17-year old Siyanda Mwandla from Umhlali Golf Club in KwZulu-Natal are currently the top players on the SAGDB national order of merit and are outstanding prospects for the future. They are both currently playing off scratch handicaps.

For the Nedbank Golf Challenge Pro-Am, the SAGDB will be sending three of its outstanding graduates: Cedric Rooi from Boland, Calvin Coelho from KwaZulu-Natal and Musiwalo Nethunzwi from Gauteng. All three have all made a big impression in amateur opens and at u/23 level and the SAGDB is incredibly proud of the dedication they have continued to show towards the sport. All three played off +2 handicaps. Cedric and Calvin were also part of the five-ball that won the Pro-Am last year.

"There is no better accolade than becoming worthy as an organisation, by being in a privileged position to incite enthusiasm, create opportunity and have the esteemed responsibility to shape the lives of young aspirant and talented golf players. In fulfilling our role to serve the communities in which we operate, as Sun International we play a significant role in creating a meaningful context in which golf can be tenderly nurtured and grow." says Ashnie Muthusamy: Group Manager Talent Transformation & Change, Sun International.