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Whither Nigerian ladies’ golf

The Ladies Golf Association of Nigeria under the leadership of Veronica Osuhor has commenced the process of producing a generation of young lady golfers. The…

The Ladies Golf Association of Nigeria under the leadership of Veronica Osuhor has commenced the process of producing a generation of young lady golfers. The task, according to the LGAN president, is to get more young women involve in golf. To achieve this, the body plans to use the mass media to create awareness and help change attitude towards the sport.

As a stepping stone, the LGAN has acquired the rights to host the All African Challenge Trophy (AACT) billed to take place in November this year at the IBB Golf and Country Club in Abuja. The Nigerian ladies golf body hopes that by staging this event the sport’s profile among Nigerian women will be enhanced as it plays catch-up with the men’s game.

The tournament is the showpiece for young lady golfers in the continent. The maiden edition of this biennial event took place at the Chapman Golf Club in Harare, Zimbabwe in May 1992 with twelve participating countries.

The tournament was aimed to develop junior golf in Africa, particularly junior girls’ golf, and ultimately promote ladies golf in the continent. It was also meant to serve as the African qualifying tournament for the “Espirito Santo World Team Championship”.

Nigeria hosted the championship far back in 1996 at the Ikoyi Club in Lagos and again it was awarded the hosting rights for the 2010 edition two years ago in Egypt.  

This year’s championship will be momentous and memorable as it coincides with Nigeria’s 50th Independence Anniversary. But invariably it will be both an opportunity and a challenge for the LGAN. One, it serves as a springboard for ladies golf in the country. The ladies’ golf body can use the event to attract female participation by organising clinics for young girls of Under-8s, Under-10s, Under-13s and Under-16s as well as training sessions for beginners. Two, as the AACT 2010 is expected to surpass previous editions in terms of organisation, colour, excitement and competition, the LGAN should intensify publicity for the championship to generate and sustain interest in the game. As such, the whole golf community must fight against the sport’s undeserving toga of “elitist” and “exclusionist” by doubling efforts geared towards public awareness. For LGAN, the time is rather short from now to November but it can still do things that will draw more female participation and involvement in the game. It should also work out programmes to prepare lady golfers ahead of the African championship just like the pre-AACT tournament held last month in Abuja which attracted countries from the West and Central Africa. Though it has a long way to go, the LGAN could still accomplish some of its objective with a veritable road-map.

Who knows, probably, in few years from now Nigeria will have produced its own version of Michelle Wie or Anika Sorenstam.  

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