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Society & Success

The good and bad at Africa amateur golf tourney

From left: Jay Sandhu (Kenya), Jade Buitendach
From left: Jay Sandhu (Kenya), Jade Buitendach (South Africa) and Ronald Otile (Uganda) during the Africa Amateur Golf Team Championship (AAGTC) 2015 at the Limuru Country Club. PHOTOS | CHRIS OMOLLO  

This past week has been great for amateur golf in Kenya. The Kenya Golf Union (KGU) successfully hosted the Africa Amateur Golf Team Championship (AAGTC) 2015 at the Limuru Country Club. The four day, 72-hole event ended Thursday, bringing an end to a very well managed and attended golf event.

It was the first time Kenya was getting an opportunity to host this top amateur event and a total of 13 countries made the trip to Nairobi. This Friday, I am dishing out barbs and bouquets to various actors involved in the 2015 AAGTC.

My first and hearty bouquet goes out to the KGU who worked tirelessly to ensure this event was a resounding success.

For many months now, the union has be singularly focused on hosting this huge international event. The chairman, Anthony Muhoro, drove the fundraising process from the front, spending many man hours trying to raise funds to stage the 2015 AAGTC.

My second bouquet goes out to the membership of Limuru Country Club. The members, commonly known as the warriors, not only gave up the privilege of using their golf course this past week, they also genuinely supported the championship, making the visiting teams feel very much at home.

So to the KGU and to the members of the Limuru Country Club, well done for being great Kenyan ambassadors. For the Kenyan players, their performance aside, their behaviour and comradeship as host players was commendable.

Our guys competed with utmost determination and were most respectful to their visiting counterparts – to them, I present a large bouquet.

My barbs go to the following. First barb goes to the Government of Kenya and in particular the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts. Whilst Sports secretary Hassan Wario did show up and presided over the flag raising ceremony, his ministry did not put in a single shilling in support of the championship.

My second barb goes out to corporate Kenya. Many corporates splash millions of shillings on amateur golf at the club level, but few responded to the pleas of the KGU to assist with the staging of the AAGTC 2015. The KGU did not have a huge budget. It was looking for just about Sh15 million to stage this important continental championship.

Finally, one of the aging amateur players did go to Limuru and caused a scene, apparently because he did not make the Kenyan team. To this misguided individual, a large barb to you Sir. Grow up.

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