Zimbabwe Ladies Golf Union (ZLGU) has received a major boost after the National Aids Council (NAC) unveiled a sponsorship package of $10 000 towards the hosting its flagship tournament, the Zimbabwe Ladies Open Stroke Play Championship which will be played from July 6-8 at the Royal Harare Golf Club.
BY GARISH PHIRI
Speaking during the unveiling ceremony, NAC chief executive officer Tapuwa Magure said their support for the ladies golf was in line with their objective of using the sport of golf to increase awareness and raise funds towards cancer prevention and management.
“On behalf of the National Aids Council Board, management and staff, it gives me great pleasure to be part of this ceremony to unveil sponsorship for the Zim Open Tournament for Ladies, which as you are aware is a continuation of our synergistic collaboration with the game of golf and of course the Zimbabwe Professional Golfers Association (ZPAG) and the Zimbabwe Ladies Golf Union,” he said.
“We therefore seek to break the cycle of silence and stigma associated with cervical cancer. Our intention is to reach out to as many women as possible with awareness and screening services, while also providing HIV testing. Our partnership with golf enables us to do that while also ensuring that the ladies host a successful tournament through which we can also mobilize further resources to procure mobile cancer testing equipment for rural health centers.” he said.
ZLGU president Caroline Mtsambiwa was delighted with NAC’s kind gesture, saying it came at a time they were facing financial challenges in the hosting of the tournament.
“It’s quiet a huge relief we were struggling to get support for our tournament. I want to extend my sincere gratitude to the NAC to the contribution our ZLGU Open Strokeplay tournament for this year; it will definitely have an impact toward the success of the year’s tournament.
“We had planned to cancel this year’s prestigious tournament due to financial problems but you made us believe there are organisations that still empower women in sports,” she said.
Top female junior golfer Emily Jones won last year’s edition of the Zimbabwe Ladies Open Stroke Play Championship after finishing top of the leaderboard in a strong field which featured local, regional and international players.
A strong field of around 120 players mostly are from Zimbabwe as well as other African countries such as Zambia, Malawi, South Africa and Nigeria are expected to battle it out for this year’s title.