By Staff Reporter
Nedbank Namibia has pledged N$200,000 to the Namibia Junior Golf Foundation (NJGF) for the development of the sport in disadvantaged communities.
The sponsorship will focus on providing golfers from previously disadvantaged communities in the age groups of 19 and under with training programmes, while creating opportunities for them to compete in various tournaments across the country, with subsequent international participation.
NJGF has in the past successfully hosted tour cup events and junior open tournaments in Swakopmund and Windhoek respectively, that have provided these young golfers with the necessary skills, and laid the foundation for international participation, such as the All Africa Junior Golf Challenge in Swaziland in April in this year, where Namibia ended 4th out of 10 countries.
In addition, the foundation has already set up development structures in various towns such as Tsumeb, Oshakati & Okahandja with approximately 195 children including 15 girls forming part of the development programme.
The number is expected to increase considerably by the end of next year.
“We believe the junior golfers of today will become the senior golfers of tomorrow and through this sponsorship, Nedbank has also committed itself to become part of the initiative,” said Nedbank Managing Director Erastus Hoveka at a function to unveil the sponsorship last week.
NJGF vice president Nico Oberholzer said golf will open windows of opportunities to help the youth escape from harsher environments. “We hope and trust that success stories from the feeder programmes will inspire others, thereby developing the game further and wider,” he said.
The foundation plans to increase the number of children participating in the programme to at least 500 by the end of next year. The young golfers will form part of the authorised development programme and will be subjected to bi-weekly lessons by credible NJGF tutors and PGA professionals.
The Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture Willem Konjore congratulated the NJGF on for its efforts in providing aspiring golfers with excellent opportunities of developing the sport, not only at grassroots level, but ensuring that golf is taken to the outlying areas of the country.
“I do not think it’s possible to overstate the value and importance of sport in our nation and there’s nothing that brings a nation together quite like the love of sport. It’s a source of great enjoyment and excitement as it develops a healthy competitive spirit and unifies a community and country. It provides us with common ground through shared goals and the pride we take in achievement as part of the cultural fabric of the nation,” he said.