In a game of golf, where a player’s ability and play is determined by his handicap and finesse, the sport’s local governing body, the Botswana Golf Union (BGU), seems to have a sub zero handicap when it comes to attracting sponsors.
While other codes are struggling to find sponsors and the corporate world is crying recession, BGU continues to net lots of sponsorship, giving truth to the clich├®d saying that ‘business deals are done and cut on the golf course.’
On Thursday evening, it was all smiles for the BGU as they ‘sunk yet another big birdie’ when Nashua Botswana was unveiled as this year’s Independence Trophy sponsors.
Nashua, who came to the BGU’s rescue last year when the Independence Trophy was facing uncertainty due to loss of its long term sponsors, have once again renewed their friendship with the sport.
Speaking to Standard Sport at the launch, Nashua Botswana Managing Director (MD), Sean Irish, said they intend to forge a long term partnership with the local golf fraternity.
The Nashua MD said his company would like to play more roles in local golf by not only sponsoring tournaments but also being involved in grassroots development.
Irish, however, pointed out that all this is dependent upon golf’s local governing body. The interest of Nashua in Botswana’s golf development will surely come as a sweet melody to the BGU, more especially considering the company’s involvement in South African golf. Apart from sponsoring at least three professional golf tournaments in neighbouring South Africa, Nashua also boasts of having been the driving force behind the world’s number six golfer, Ernest ‘Ernie’ Els’ early in his golfing career.
Irish informed Standard Sport that coming on board, Nashua will also identify a talented young golfer to nurture and develop to play professional golf if possible.
For his part, the president of BGU, Dr Andrew Hall, expressed delight at Nashua Botswana’s involvement with the local game. Hall says the company’s involvement comes at the right time when his association is busy planning to roll out its ambitious grassroots development plan. The BGU chief also expressed gratitude at the over P100┬á000 worth of sponsorship Nashua will be putting on for the Independence tournament now dubbed the Nashua Independent Trophy.
The tournament, which is dubbed the most popular locally due to its attraction of high numbers of participants, is also the oldest in the country. It is expected that as is the norm, this year’s 44th edition of the Independence Trophy will attract close to 200 male and female participants. Dr Hall says after incorporating women in the tournament in 2005, the BGU intends to bring juniors on board in the not so distant future. The two day tournament will be hosted by the Gaborone Golf Club on the 18th and 19th of September.