Lagos — NBC and Coca-Cola, major sponsors of the 2000 Hilton golf tournament in Abuja are working with the organisers to create a special category for kids in the next edition of the Abuja tournament.
Speaking at the end of this year's event, the External Affairs Director of NBC Mrs. Comfort Emdem pointed out that the future of golf in Nigeria depends on "our ability to catch them young. It is now quite clear that like in any other sports, the youths are taking over.
"Though experience will always count in big international competitions, Nigeria will not be a great golf playing nation until kids start picking interest in golf from an early stage."
Mr. Emdem noted that it has always been our desire to have a kiddie's category and coaching clinic incorporated into the Hilton golf tournament and other major golf events.
"It is only through a planned, deliberate and sustained efforts of develop golf from the youth level that the game can truly come alive in Nigeria and emerge a mass appeal sports."
"We at NBC and Coca-Cola are committed to this vision of making kids fall in love with golf. This will be a natural extension of our brand policy of providing refreshment for all."
Also speaking at the prize presentation ceremony, Coca Cola External Affairs Director Mr. Laolu Akinkugbe noted that the closeness between the overall winner and 2nd and 3rd prizes demonstrates very clearly that the winners in big tournament is no longer a foregone conclusion. We are also delighted at the huge turn out of amateur players in this years Hilton golf tournament. A key objective in a tournament of this nature is to help the amateur improve their quality of play."
Top player Raphael Iyonagbe on his part called on companies and individuals to sponsor more Nigerian golf players to international golf tournament. In Nigeria we have only one green golf course in Abuja. All the other courses are brown.
This puts Nigerian players at a competitive disadvantage. At the end of the Abuja event, prizes were given to the overall best netts, best gross ladies and best nett ladies. Special prizes were also given to the longest drive and nearest the pin.