Sports Trust donation a major boost for disabled golf

PRETORIA (16 August 2016) – The Nedbank Golf Challenge has made another significant impact on South African golf development with the donation of R250 000 from The Sports Trust, Nedbank and Sun International to the South African Disabled Golf Association (SADGA).
The funds were raised from the 2015 Sports Trust Golf Challenge, an annual fundraiser played the day after the final round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club.
The money is crucial to the support of SADGA’s various golf development projects, and a cheque was presented to SADGA Chief Executive Officer Eugene Vorster at Zwartkop Country Club today.
“We are extremely grateful for the support we receive from The Sports Trust, Nedbank and Sun International as we continue to help people see that we are not focusing on people with disabilities but rather developing a community of golfers who can express themselves despite their disabilities,” said Vorster.
Children from four schools including West Rand School, Hope School, Pretoria School and Prinshof were all present at the handover as examples of how SADGA’s SNAG golf project through its First Swing Program (FSP) is transforming their lives.
The SNAG initiative teaches basic golf and coordination skills, but at the same time SADGA’s passionate coaches use the opportunity to convey the other values and skills that can be learnt through golf such as patience, honesty, integrity, basic mathematics, time keeping and even spelling.
“We have always believed in the power of the Nedbank Golf Challenge to make an impact beyond just the actual week of the tournament, and as founding trustees of The Sports Trust, Sun International is extremely proud of the value this tournament adds to the excellent work of the South African Disabled Golf Association,” said Dan Sevel, Sun International’s Marketing Manager: Sports Marketing.
West Rand School’s Prenesh Naidoo represents one of the greatest success stories of SADGA’s programme. Naidoo went from being a withdrawn pupil lacking any self-confidence two years ago to now one of the brightest golfers in the programme who represents his school in golf. “Until now, nobody ever gave me the opportunity to be part of a team and represent a school,” said Naidoo.
Cape Town’s Charles Williams is another success of the programme and has in his seven years with SADGA risen to become the best deaf junior golfer in South Africa.
Ignation Douries was part of the Western Province team that competed in the prestigious SADGA Provincial Challenge where he was undefeated and holed the winning putt for his team.
Simu Mdudu, who lost his leg in a train accident, joined SADGA only two years ago and this year qualified to play in his first Nedbank South African Disabled Golf Open.
And Charl Theron continues to develop as one of the top-ranked amateur golfers in the SADGA fold. He was the leading South African golfer at the 2016 Nedbank South African Disabled Golf Open with his finish of fourth in a strong international field.
“As founding trustees of The Sports Trust and supporters of the Nedbank SA Disabled Golf Open we are humbled by how much of a difference the SADGA programme has made in the lives of these golfers. All of these children have grown in self-confidence and self-worth and are now positive role models for so many others,” said Tobie Badenhorst, Nedbank Head: Sponsorships & Cause Marketing.
Anita Mathews, Executive Director of The Sports Trust, expressed her thanks for the support of their partners in assisting the Trust with its work of increasing access to sport, particularly in abled and disabled schools in previously disadvantaged areas and communities.
“The Sports Trust Golf Challenge is our premier fundraiser to support golf development and other sport development programmes. The South African Disabled Golf Association does amazing work to increase awareness for the game of golf and uses it to change lives. We are very grateful to our partners and founding trustees, Nedbank and Sun International, for their continued commitment to sport development in our country.”
This year’s Nedbank Golf Challenge, which will be played from 10-13 November, will be the first under the tournament’s new status as part of the European Tour’s elite Final Series on the Race to Dubai.
The Nedbank Golf Challenge will be played at Sun City the week before the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, and the field will be increased from the current 30 players to 72 players.
Nedbank has also extended its sponsorship of the tournament for a further three years, with this year’s event featuring increased prize money of $7 million.
The South African Disabled Golf Association has introduced “The First Swing Programme” which is a series of clinics provided to participating schools across South Africa for disabled children.  This programme has given them exposure to the game of golf as well as exposure to golf related industries, and helping them with their life skills.  It is designed around using SNAG equipment, LTAD (Long Term Athlete Development) and is also golf specific. It assists students with eye / ball co-ordination, body movement skills that are golf specific, and creates a competitive environment for the children to gain confidence, providing a fun and structured sporting experience.   Through this programme, children with severe disabilities are now able to take part in sport for the first time, and this is so crucial to them and their overall development.     SADGA provides 3 Levels (1, 2 and 3) covering therapeutic modified golf for the disabled, as well as two more levels (4, 5) for the more advanced golfers. Each level consists of either or both = Sensory (Blind and Deaf) as well as Physically Disabled, including both adults and juniors.
About The Sports Trust
The Sports Trust is an independent organization established jointly by the private and public sectors in 1994, and is a registered Section 21 company, Public Benefit Organisation and operates as an NPO, although carries the name “Trust” to reflect the relationship between donors’ funding and the organisation.   We provide sporting kit, equipment and build or upgrade sports facilities in disadvantaged rural communities in South Africa, and act as an implementation partner to Corporates.
Nedbank is a founding Trustee of The Sports Trust and provide support via their Nedbank Sport Affinity programme.  When you use any of the Sport Affinity accounts, Nedbank donates money to The Sports Trust for the funding of sport development projects. Funded projects include building active communities by providing all South Africans with opportunities to play sport. The programme provides sporting equipment and upgrades sporting facilities in outlying or previously disadvantaged communities; advances sport in South Africa; helps to identify young sporting talent; and offers coaching and training programmes.     The programme is an innovative way to fund the development of sport in South Africa so that The Sports Trust projects have a continuous source of income for years to come.   Furthermore, The Sports Trust has since its inception been a catalyst for meaningful change in sport and recreation.  
Sun International
Sun International is a leading player in the gaming, hospitality and entertainment industry in southern Africa. Sun International’s unique local and international properties offer guests a variety of business, sporting, relaxation and cultural adventures. We strive to provide our guests with superior service, memorable moments and unforgettable experiences.    Sun International recognises its ethical, environmental and social impact on the communities where it does business and its social investment activities are based on the principle of creating shared value where both parties benefit. The company commits funds to socioeconomic development through its investment in education, health and welfare, sports, arts and culture, and other community development initiatives.   
In recognising the need for sports development, Sun International was a founding member of the Sports Trust. Since 1981, Sun International has played host and organizer to the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City Resort, its flagship property. In association with Nedbank, the Sports Trust Golf Challenge was started in 1994. This annual event which brings together business leaders has over a 20 year period raised in excess of R22 million for sports development.