ISPS (International Sports Promotion Society) will become Presenting Partner of the Nelson Mandela Championship, the season-opening event of The 2013 European Tour International Schedule, to be played at Royal Durban Country Club, South Africa, from December 6-9, it was announced at Wentworth Club today.
The Nelson Mandela Championship Presented by ISPS Handa, co-sanctioned by The European Tour and the Sunshine Tour, will support the work of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, one of Mandela’s charities charged with championing the cause of children.
The event, the first of six tournaments in South Africa to feature on The 2013 Race to Dubai, will be the third to be sponsored by ISPS on The European Tour International Schedule following the ISPS Handa Wales Open, won by Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee earlier this year, and next week’s ISPS Handa Perth International in Australia.
The tournament was launched in Johannesburg in August, at the offices of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund – a charity established by South Africa’s founding democratic President as an expression of his commitment to the cause of children.
Recognised as the golf community’s spirited contribution to a cause considered most dear by Mandela – children’s well-being – the London launch is no less than an affirmation that Mandela’s message of care still rings true in the capitals of the world.
ISPS Chairman Dr Haruihisa Handa said: “We are extremely proud to be Presenting Partner of the Nelson Mandela Championship. This is an excellent opportunity to team up with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and this tournament will once again highlight, to the world, the power of sport to do good and create a lasting legacy through the various Nelson Mandela Children's Fund's projects in South Africa including the creation of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Gauteng.
“We at ISPS share the great belief of Nelson Mandela that sport has the power to change the world, create a better society and breakdown educational and cultural barriers in a way that nothing else does.”
George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: “This announcement further underlines Dr Handa’s commitment to charitable giving and creating a lasting legacy through golf. Dr Handa and ISPS have been tremendous supporters of the European Senior Tour and we welcome their partnership with the Nelson Mandela Championship alongside their existing support of events in Wales and Australia.”
Welcoming the sponsorship, Sunshine Tour Executive Director, Selwyn Nathan, said: “We are very honoured to have a new tournament on our Tour that is aimed at advancing the work of Mr Nelson Mandela as carried out by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. We would like to thank ISPS for their vision in supporting this event and look forward to being associated with them in furthering the tournament’s important aims of supporting the Children’s Fund.”
Dr Handa has more than 25 years involvement in golf around the world at varying levels of the game. He is International Ambassador to the Asian Tour and the Ladies European Tour. He is also Patron of Golf Australia alongside Greg Norman and Honorary Chairman of the Legends Tour. ISPS is a Major Partner of Faldo Series Asia, Nick Faldo’s golf development programme.
Welcoming the launch of the tournament, the board chairman of the Children’s Fund Judge Yvonne Mokgoro said: “Nothing pleases us more than knowing that the cause which we are mandated to champion, on behalf of our Founder, Nelson Mandela, enjoys such esteemed reception from the golfing community.
“The cherry on top, will be to see who will be the first to lift the trophy at the Nelson Mandela Championship.”
Moipone Buda -Ramatlo, the Acting CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, said: “We are very pleased that Dr Handa and the ISPS have come on board to realise this dream. The Fund is even more pleased to be in partnership with such a Philanthropic Organization as ISPS, which has made a huge difference in countries around the world."