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City in call to make golf accessible to everyone


The Chairperson of the City of Johannesburg’s Section 79 Community Development Oversight Committee, Councillor Zarina Motala, has called on golfing organisations and the sport’s administrators to partner with the City in the implementation of its vision to develop the sport at grassroots level and in disadvantaged communities.

Cllr Motala said this at the Golf Development Workshop held at the Randpark Golf Club on Thursday July 21.

The aim of the workshop – hosted by the City’s Community Development Department in partnership with the Central Gauteng Golf Union – was to bring all stakeholders together to find ways to make the game of golf accessible to all communities and to improve the development of the sport throughout the city.

The workshop also sought to find sustainable ways to create youth employment in areas such as turf grass-keeping, general administration, management, hospitality, coaching and caddy development.

Cllr Motala said golf development should start at school level and in disadvantaged communities to enable it to grow.

“Golf is about co-ordination of the body and mind and if the two are developed at an early stage the child will grow and develop well. You should go to the townships and schools to look for talent. This is in line with the City’s Growth and Development Strategy 2040 (GDS 2040) and we would like the sporting bodies to partner with us to see our dream come true,” Cllr Motala said.

Karen du Plessis, Deputy Director of the City’s Sports and Recreation Department, said the City was prepared to assist the Central Gauteng Golf Union and other organisations in developing all codes of sports at grassroots level. Du Plessis said the City wanted to get involved in golf and creating mass awareness. She pointed out that it was important to grow the sport and increase the number of players in all regions.

“There is no elite sport without mass participation. Why don’t each one of those golf clubs adopt a school? That can help in creating employment and the City can assist in that regard,” she said.

She added that sports helped to promote a healthy lifestyle in the broader community.

William Swallies, CEO of Central Gauteng Golf Union, said his union subscribed fully to the City’s 2040 vision and recognised the important role golf had to play to achieve a sustainable future for communities. South African Disabled Golf Association CEO Eugene Vorster said the City was on the right track in making golf accessible to the disabled.

Vorster said playing golf was part of a healing process for the nation. He said the sport had grown in leaps and bounds over the past 15 years. Vorster added that his organisation had started a programme known as First Swing, which has attracted more than 800 children from 34 schools.