Diabetes UK and the European Tour Foundation have been chosen as the Official Charity Partners of the 2018 BMW PGA Championship, the first Rolex Series event of the 2018 European Tour schedule, at Wentworth Club from May 24-27.
Both charities are dedicated to supporting children and adults in need, with Diabetes UK the leading UK charity for people affected by diabetes and the European Tour Foundation working with charities, players, governing bodies and partners to ensure a lasting legacy in the countries where the European Tour plays.
Chris Wood, a former winner of the BMW PGA Championship in 2016, was joined at the prestigious Surrey venue by Genesis star and Diabetes UK Ambassador Mike Rutherford, along with 14 children and adults living with various types of diabetes, to compete in several golf challenges delivered by The Golf Foundation.
“I think it’s great that golf tournaments like the BMW PGA Championship can have such a positive impact on so many different people and I am delighted to see both charities, Diabetes UK and the European Tour Foundation, benefiting from one of our biggest events on the European Tour,” said Wood.
“It’s always a nice feeling coming back to Wentworth. It certainly holds some special memories for me, especially after the win in 2016, and with the players we have coming this year, it’s going to be another huge week of golf.”
A founding member of the hugely successful rock band Genesis, Rutherford is widely regarded as one of England’s most talented songwriters and musicians of his time, and more recently has been working closely with Diabetes UK as an Ambassador.
Rutherford’s son Harry suffers from Type 1 diabetes and manages his condition by using insulin to balance his glucose levels. His father, who will play in the Celebrity Pro-Am prior to the BMW PGA Championship next month, has first-hand knowledge of how the diagnosis can change someone’s life.
“Raising awareness of the condition is hugely important and as an Ambassador of Diabetes UK, it’s brilliant that the BMW PGA Championship have chosen us as one of their Official Charity Partners this year,” said Rutherford.
“I’m really looking forward to the week itself. It is a world class sporting event first and foremost, but now with the bands playing on the weekend and the pro-am having such a great atmosphere before the tournament, it really has something for everyone.”
Diabetes UK is the leading UK charity for people affected by diabetes their mission is to bring people together to work in partnership, support those living with diabetes, prevent Type 2 diabetes, make research breakthroughs, and to ultimately find a cure.
Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “We are delighted and honoured to be charity partner to this year’s BMW PGA Championship; the money and awareness this incredible event will raise will – no doubt – help us change the lives of those living with or at risk of diabetes.
“We want to extend our sincere thanks to everyone involved in this partnership. Diabetes is one of the biggest health crises of our time, and it’s only by working together; raising money, raising awareness and – as with this tournament – championing the benefits of sport and physical activity, that we’ll be able to truly achieve our goal of a world where diabetes can do no harm.”
Nick Rose, Head of Fundraising, European Tour, added: “We are delighted to be an Official Charity partner of the BMW PGA Championship. We now enter a new era which sees the European Tour embarking on a far greater, global philanthropic strategy and we are very much looking forward to working with Diabetes UK at this world-class event.”
Jamie Birkmyre, Championship Director BMW PGA Championship, said: “We are privileged to welcome Diabetes UK and the European Tour Foundation on board as this year’s Official Charity Partners at the BMW PGA Championship.
“Each year the partnerships we have will help to raise funds for both organisations and will have a positive impact on individuals and communities throughout the UK.”