Johannesburg, South Africa. January 2017 – Canon South Africa has entrenched its support for the South African Disabled Golf Association (SADGA) by taking the reins as the official sponsor of it’s prestigious national championship in 2017. The Canon South African Disabled Golf Open, to take place from the 15th to the 17th of May 2017 in Cape Town at King David Mowbray Golf Club, will be the 19th annual edition of the international amateur tournament.
Canon SA’s association with SADGA stems back to 2001 when the company sponsored a small prize for a golf tournament. Since then, its involvement with SADGA has continued to grow and blossom, with its sponsorship focusing on SADGA’s First Swing Program initiative, a development programme for children with disabilities.
Michelle Janse van Vuuren, Marketing Director at Canon SA, says: “Over the years, our support for SADGA has evolved to become something of a passion. We are excited to take our support of SADGA to the next level as the proud, official sponsor of the South African Disabled Golf Open. The South African Disabled Golf Open offers a platform for disabled golfers to pit their skills against some of the best in the world in a credible competition that has at its heart the goal to inspire and unite players, and of course acknowledge their achievements. To have the Canon brand associated with this respected international tournament is indeed a tremendous source of pride for us.”Hosted annually by SADGA, the championship incorporates the world’s top golfers with disabilities. In 2016, 30% of the field boasted single figure handicaps and more than half of the competitors had handicaps of 18 or lower. South Africans have historically dominated the tournament, with Ben van Zyl winning the event from 1998 to 2003; Pieter Jansen in 2004; Nico Wentzel in 2008; Iglin Grobler in 2009 and 2010; and Daniel Slabbert from 2011 to 2013 and again in 2015. Among the international winners are top ranked Canadian Josh Williams and reigning champion Chad Pfeifer from the United States, while some of the forgeign golfers to grace the South African Disabled Golf Open over the years include world renowned Manuel De Los Santos and Spanish star Juan Postigo, to name but a few.
SADGA is recognised and respected for opening up a world of interaction, opportunities and competition for golfers with disabilities. In addition to the South African Disabled Golf Open, SADGA organises about 40 provincial golf days around the country each year, which culminate with the SADGA Provincial Challenge.
Reinard Schuhknecht, SADGA spokesperson and reigning world one armed champion says: “We have made great strides towards integrating disabled golfers into the sport. Now they have an opportunity to nurture their abilities and compete against other disabled golfers both locally and internationally. None of our efforts or successes over the years would have been possible without the support of our sponsors and donors.
“The South African Disabled Golf Open continues to grow in both size and stature and is today a notable event on the international disabled golfing calendar. Certainly, organising and hosting a tournament of this calibre requires an incredible commitment of both time and resources. We are thrilled to welcome Canon SA as our trusted partner in bringing the tournament to fruition for the 19th consecutive year in 2017.”