Netball partners with golf in fund-raising effort

Observer staff reporter

Friday, June 08, 2018

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Golf is often described as an easy game that is just hard to play. The same could possibly be said of netball.

However, that is not the reason the two sporting bodies — Jamaica Golf Association (JGA) and Netball Jamaica — have decided to join forces to tee off the inaugural Sunshine Girls golf tournament.

The Sunshine Girls are expected to be out in numbers without their bibs and size-five balls. Instead they will be making friends with golf clubs and 1.620 ounce balls at Caymanas Golf and Country Club on June 24.

The tournament is being used to raise funds to further aid in the development of Jamaica's netball and so all are invited to 'Come Scramble with the Sunshine Girls', as Netball Jamaica is seeking to raise more than $1 million from the effort.

Proceeds from the two-person scramble full handicap tournament will go towards hosting upcoming series against Trinidad and Tobago and England, as well as assisting to prepare the Sunshine Girls for next year's World Netball Championships to be held in England.

With golf being used as a vehicle to raise funds for charity in the past, Michael Boyd, a director on Netball Jamaica's board, said that component made the decision easy.

Boyd also expressed optimism that a successful, exciting and friendly competition on this occasion will pave the way for the tournament to become a staple on the golf calendar which will further increase their earnings.

“As an athlete who has dabbled in many sports, this is one area that we raise a lot of money for charity on several occasions, and as a member of the board of directors of netball, I wanted to bring something different to the table.

“I am always the one who is looking at fund-raising, so I chose golf because I am a golfer and because I know we can raise a lot of money,” he told journalists during the event's launch at the Caymanas Golf and Country Club on Wednesday.

“We are hoping that this will be the first of many more to come. I am a part of the golf fraternity and I have seen some programmes grown over the years that have brought in ton loads of money because they are known and are calendar events, and we want this to continue the same,” Boyd added.

President of the JGA Peter Chin, who is in full support of the tournament, also anticipates a successful first staging.

“This is great because a lot of charities use golf as a means of raising funds and a sporting association is in need, so we are very willing to help and we are expecting a very successful tournament because of the reputation and the popularity of the Sunshine Girls,” Chin stated.

Meanwhile, Christopher Samuda, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), gave his full endorsement of the partnership which he believes should become a more regular practice.

“I think it is a very good initiative and this is what we encourage at the JOA: the coming together of our constituent members, not only in terms of the technical development of each sport, but also in terms of financial well-being of the sports.

“I think, more and more sport is becoming very integrated and therefore these sport constituents that we have jurisdiction of must also learn to work together. Because the sponsorship dollar is dwindling and so we have to find very creative ways of creating revenue streams and also ensure that the fan base is also enhanced,” Samuda reasoned.

Entry fees for the tournament are $7,000 for adults and $4,000 for juniors, and include lunch. There will also be closest to the pin and longest drive prizes up for grabs.

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