Sandals empowering youth through golf
THE tees and greens of Sandals Golf and Country Club will be overrun by children, 52 to be exact, contesting the second match of the Jamaica Junior Cup, amid a sizzling jerk festival and mini health fair at the Upton, St Ann, course on Saturday, May 5.
Dubbed 'A Celebration of Sports, Food and Charity', the event will be hosted by the Sandals Foundation to which all proceeds will be channelled, in addition to its junior golfers programme based at the scenic course.
Miguel Arthurs, general manager, Sandals Golf and Country Club, said the event is all about exposing more children to the sport and transformational development of youngsters, especially boys, and proudly reminisced how Romaine Evans, a 10-year-old picking mangoes adjacent the property in 2010, became a Caribbean amateur junior champion five years later.
"It will be a fun-filled day but, most of all, I believe ... I know, we can retake Jamaica by engaging one youth at a time," he said, pointing out that participants in Sandals Foundation's junior golfers programme have to maintain a 70 per cent average in school.
Alison Reid of the Jamaica Golf Association said the match will feature children in the age group 6-17, playing in teams, and is part of the build-up to Jamaica hosting the July 3-6 Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships.
"Most of all, we want to get rid of this elitist stigma that is attached to golf," she said. "We just had five schools participating in our first school competition recently. This event will further expose golf to more children."
Arthurs said the family affair will also feature a mini health fair, 'Stroke against Stroke', which will highlight "how a golf stroke can help to combat challenges experienced by stroke survivors".
"We will have the jerk festival competitors right there on the tee boxes and the winner will be awarded, along with the winning golfers, at the awards ceremony. There will also be free financial counselling from various institutions and a kiddies village, featuring our mascot, Giffie The Golfer," Arthurs added.