More states join, as expanded Awa Ibraheem Junior Championship tees off
This competition has also acquired an international tint with the participation of players from Ghana in the event, which teed off yesterday at the Ikeja Golf Club.
Speaking on the programme for the country’s leading youth championship, Nigeria Golf Federation’s (NGF) Director of Youth Development, Emy Ekong, said the expansion of the competition, which is part of the birthday celebration of the sponsor, Alhaji Awa Ibrahim, indicates that the event is leaving up to the dreams of the sponsors.
“The participation of a Ghanaian team and such states as Kano, Plateau and Oyo shows that we are moving in the right direction.“It is an open championship that will feature more than 170 players going by the entries we have already received.
“As of Wednesday, 167 players had registered for the event because we have more teams joining us from Kano, Rayfield, Katsina and Uyo etc. Most teams from Delta, Oturkpo, Katsina, Bauchi and Sagamu have been around since Monday.”
She disclosed that the championship, which was declared open yesterday, is restricted to players aged between five and 18, instead of the previous 19.
Explaining the heightened enthusiasm among the participants, Ekong said, “the winners of the championships are offered scholarships by the organisers because we want to encourage our children to go to school.
“The aim of the championships is to promote golf and education and we have been lucky to keep the focus because it is more of education and scholarships for the winners.
“We have had an immense support from parents in the past, some have shown that the kids have future playing golf and also have good
concentration on their studies.”
Ekong revealed that “accommodation, feeding and registration have been made free because the sponsors appreciate the present economic situation and the burden has to be taken off the parents.”
She disclosed that the event would serve as one of the qualifiers for the All Africa Junior Championship for boys and girls scheduled for March 2017 in Zimbabwe, adding that stroke play competition will hold today and tomorrow, with the closing ceremony also scheduled for tomorrow.
Part of the programme, according to Ekong, is a golf clinic and workshop sponsored by the Lagos State Sports Commission in collaboration with the NGF.