FBC Holdings Group takes over Zim Open title sponsorship

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FBC Holdings

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
ONE of Zimbabwe’s biggest financial services institutions, FBC Holdings Group, was yesterday unveiled as the title sponsors of the Zimbabwe Open Golf Tournament, which is set to make a grand return on the local sporting calendar next month after a three-year hiatus.

The hugely popular golf event, which is widely regarded as one of the biggest on the African continent, will be played at Royal Harare Golf Club and Chapman Golf Club from May 19 to 22.

A star-studded field of 192 golfers from the continent and around the world is anticipated for this year’s event as they seek the coveted title, which was last won by South African Bryce Easton in 2018.

Prior to its three-year hiatus due to exchange rate challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Zimbabwe Open had become the most anticipated tournaments on the Sunshine Tour, attracting corporate backing and blue-chip sponsors.

As it prepares for its return, the tournament has lost none of its lustre, with FBC Holdings Group headlining the enormous list of sponsors who have come on board to support the event, which will be known as the FBC Zim Open.

Old Mutual, who were the title sponsors in 2018, remain a part of the tournament as one of the associate sponsors, along with Delta Beverages and OK Zimbabwe, while the anchor sponsors include Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe and Sahwira Events.

FBC Holdings managing director Webster Rusere said the sponsorship package of $12 500 000 towards the Zimbabwe Open Golf Tournament’s prize fund was part of their corporate social impact initiatives.

“As you may be aware, the FBC Holdings Group sponsored
$12 500 000 towards the Zimbabwe Open Golf Tournament as part of our corporate social impact initiatives aimed at enabling the well-being of the communities we serve,” he said.

“Our title sponsorship of the 2022 Zimbabwe Open Golf Tournament bears testimony to our firm commitment in playing a pivotal role in promoting the development of golf as a sport in Zimbabwe and the African continent at large.”

Zimbabwe Open Golf Committee chairman Livingstone Gwata, himself a former FBC Holdings managing director, thanked the sponsors for their continued support for the tournament even during difficult times.

“We are very thankful ladies and gentlemen to our sponsors and partners who have supported this national tournament over the years and sometimes through very difficult economic times. It takes the generosity and corporate social responsibility of our sponsors to make an event of this nature possible,” Gwata said.

The veteran golf administrator also revealed that due to its popularity and stature on the Sunshine Tour, FBC Zim Open would from next year become a co-sanctioned event on the DP World Tour, formerly known as the European Tour.

“The excellent manner in which the Zimbabwe Open has been run over the years has not gone unnoticed. Our tour partners, the Sunshine Tour represented here by their tournament director, Garry Todd, were invited by the European Tour (now rebranded as the DP World Tour) to recommend countries outside South Africa that could successfully stage a European Tour event and they had no hesitation in putting Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Open forward for inclusion in the European Tour,” Gwata said.

“It is, therefore, expected that the 2023 Zimbabwe Open will be co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the DP World Tour. Congratulations and well done to all those that have made this lofty promotion possible. The 2022 FBC Zimbabwe Open will therefore be a dress rehearsal for the co-sanctioned tournament in 2023.”

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