THE two-day Nedbank Mohokare Golf Classic tournament is returning this March, organising committee chairperson, Mpeake Sekhibane has said.
The tournament failed to take place in the last two years on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. The last edition was held in October 2019.
The 2022 edition was launched in Maseru yesterday afternoon.
It will be held on 18 and 19 March 2022 with games being played simultaneously at the Maseru and Ladybrand golf courses.
Sekhibane said when the tournament was initiated in 2008, the aim was to foster cross border relations between players on and off the golf course.
“It was also initiated to create an annual golfing event in Lesotho and it has been a networking opportunity,” Sekhibane said.
According to Sekhibane, the number of participants have been increasing each and every year.
One hundred and seventy-six participants competed in the last edition but Sekhibane said they are expecting the figures to be less than 150 because of travelling restrictions.
“The number of women and juniors have also been increasing as the event continues to attract players from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and eSwatini,” he said.
On his part, Nedbank Lesotho managing director, Nkau Matete, said the sponsorship for the tournament has now been increased from M250 000 to M350 000. The funds will be used for the tournament’s preparations and logistics.
The tournament is usually held in October but after failing to take off in the past two years, Matete said they would not wait for the end of the year.
“The funding has been increased to accelerate the growth and quality of the tournament. We will also ensure that Covid-19 regulations are adhered to appropriately by players, organisers, partnering sponsors and everyone who will be part of the tournament.
“The sponsorship also gives us a unique opportunity to showcase and market our banking and digital solutions to our customers,” Matete said.
As part of its corporate social responsibility, in 2019 Nedbank through its CSI initiative working together with the tournament organisers financially supported the Lesotho Breast Cancer Network (LBCN) to boost its early diagnosis awareness, care and treatment campaigns. The donation will come from Nedbank.
And this year, Matete said, they are also looking forward to using the proceeds in similar fashion although the beneficiaries will only be announced towards the event dates.
The tournament is open to all golfers and registration is expected to start next week.