Canon South Africa has committed to continue its relationship with the South African Disabled Golf Association by investing its’ support to the South African Disabled Golf Open for the next three years, until 2020. This comes on the back of Canon South Africa’s successful, inaugural title sponsorship of the 19th annual edition of the tournament which took place in Cape Town in May 2017.
Canon SA’s association with SADGA stems back to 2001 when the company sponsored a prize for a golf tournament. Since then, its involvement with SADGA has continued to grow, with its sponsorship, until this year, focusing on SADGA’s First Swing Program initiative, a development program for children with disabilities.
“Canon SA bolstered its support for SADGA and disabled golf in South Africa when we became the headline sponsor for this year’s South African Disabled Golf Open for the first time. Buoyed by this tremendous experience, Canon SA has decided to sponsor the tournament for the next three years, until 2020. The tournament has at its core, the goal to inspire and unite golfers with disablitities, giving them a platform to compete in an internationally-respected tournament and be acknowledged for their achievements. Througout our involvement with SADGA, we have grown increasingly inspired and committed to promoting and supporting disabled golf in South Africa. We are excited and determined to take disabled golf to new heights with SADGA,” says Gian de Valliers, Managing Director at Canon SA.
Hosted annually by SADGA, the South African Disabled Golf Open attracts the world’s top golfers with disabilities, offering them a platform to compete against some of the best players in the world. The 19th edition of the South African Disabled Golf Open will go down in history as one of the most successful and memorable, with a diverse field of 83 golfers, some as young as 12, competing. 50% 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 Grobbelaar in 2009 and 2010; and Daniel Slabbert from 2011 to 2013, and again in 2015. It was American Chad Pfeifer who top honours as the overall winner of the 2017 event.
SADGA is recognised for empowering 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. Its First Swing Program, which Canon SA continues to support, exposes children with disabilities to the game of golf, providing a modified sports environment where children with disabilities can participate in sport and feel part a group. The program is operational in 35 schools across the country, with some 860 children benefitting every week.
Commenting on SADGA’s three year contract with Canon SA, Enver Hassen, Chairman of SADGA says: “We are pleased to continue with Canon SA as our trusted partner for the South African Disabled Golf Open for the next three years. Organising and hosting a tournament of this calibre requires an incredible commitment of both time and resources. It would not be possible without the support and commitment of our sponsors. Following the success of the 2017 competition, we look forward to working with Canon SA on the 2018, 2019 and 2020 events.”