The Botswana Golf Union (BGU) will next weekend hold its annual independence tournament at the Gaborone Golf Club. The annual Standard Chartered open golf tournament is expected to attract more than 150 participants from all over the country. According to the executive secretary of BGU, Comfort Ramatebele, the tournament would be sponsored to the tune of P60 000.
“Let me take this opportunity to once again thank the Standard Charted Bank of Botswana for the assistance they have been giving us. Standard Chartered bank of Botswana has been sponsoring the tournament for the past 40 years and this year will be their 41st year in succession. When broadly looking at this you would realise that the Standard Chartered Bank of Botswana has been sponsoring this tournament since independence,” he said.
Ramatebele also said the tournament would be divided into two categories, A and B. The ‘A’ division will be handicapped from 0 to 9 while the ‘B’ division will be handicapped from 10 to 18.
Ramatebele stressed that the tournament will also include women. He said they do not want a situation whereby women are sidelined in golf activities and said the BGU is doing all it can to be inclusive.
Ramatebele said they want a situation where by, in future, there would be a sustainable programme for women.
On why the tournament is held a week before the 41st independence celebrations, Ramatebele said that many people travel during the independence week and the tournament might not have a good turnout. He said they also want to give golfers time to visit their friends and relatives during that time.
“Independence Day is normally at the end of the month and many people want to visit their relatives and friends. And if you designate the tournament on the day it might not be as successful as it should have been if it was held on a different day. Also if the tournament is held on Independence Day, players might also not give their best because their minds would be somewhere else,” he said.
Ramatebele appealed to all those interested in taking part to come in their numbers saying golf is not only beneficial on the field of play but also in many other aspects.
He said people must also discard of the perception that golf is a sport for the well to do families. Golf, he said, is for everybody who is interested.