NEDBANK Lesotho has injected a whopping M350 000 into this year's edition of the annual Mohokare Golf Classic tournament.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Lesotho's international and biggest golf event, which has since become a major attraction to lovers of the sport while also boosting the country's economy.
This year's tournament is scheduled for 20-21 October and will be played simultaneously at the Maseru Golf Course and Ladybrand Golf Course in South Africa.
The two-day programme will end with a prize-giving ceremony at Avani Maseru, with proceeds from the tournament being forwarded to the Lesotho Breast Cancer Association.
The proceeds will be generated from participants' registrations fees, as well as pledges from companies and individuals.
Speaking at the tournament launch held yesterday at Kick4Life premises in Maseru, one of the tournament's organising committee members, Mpeake Sekhibane, said they were expecting about 152 golfers from both Lesotho and other African countries.
"We are expecting 152 golfers and we are restricted to this number because of the size of our golf course (Maseru Golf Course) which is a nine-hole course. If we had an 18-hole course, we would be able to host more golfers," Sekhibane said.
He also said since its inception in 2003, the tournament had played a vital role in growing the sport, especially by increasing the number of women golfers. Sekhibane further said the event was also contributing to the growth of Lesotho's economy, as well as tourism.
"The tournament is not only about playing golf, but also contributes to the economy in that players from outside the country use our hotels while we also encourage them to visit our tourist attractions throughout the country.
"It is also through this tournament that we were able to attract more into playing the sport and now we have 20 fulltime women golf players," he said.
Sekhibane noted how the tournament had grown over the years with the first edition in 2003 attracting 30 players and the number increasing to 132 in 2022. Participants from countries like Botswana, South Africa, eSwatini and Mozambique have become a feature at the tournament, he added.
Last year's champions were Rethabile Liphalana in the women's category, while Andre Kotze took the men's title.
In his remarks , Nedbank Lesotho Managing Director, Nkau Matete, expressed satisfaction with their partnership with the Mohakare Golf Classic.
"We are delighted that the partnership is still standing, and these are the results of respect, professionalism, common purpose as well as having regular meetings to review previous tournaments and discuss areas to be improved," Matete said.
"We are also proud that Nedbank and Mohokare Golf Classic have continued towards making golf an inclusive sport by not limiting it to men only."
He also said like any other golfing event, the Mohokare Golf Classic was a platform for business networking, possible collaborations and building friendship.