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Monday 25th November 2013

Team 1st Gross ~ L to R: Otis Thomas, Omarry James, Gregory Georges and Paul Michael.
Photo courtesy of Eustace Samuel.

PRESS RELEASE - Golfers and Sponsors who participated in the 2013 International Women’s Club Charity Golf Tournament Saturday, November 16 at the Cedar Valley Golf Club, are calling it a major success, and are already receiving commitments for next year’s event which will be held in early November. According to Chief Organizer Cath White, “the sold-out tournament registered a record number of 84 golfers, an increase of 12 golfers over last year.  There were also many “firsts” ~ an all-woman team, two women on one of the First Place teams, golfers from the UK, a team from Montserrat, and many first-time team and hole sponsors!

Representatives from Virgin Atlantic Airways who were also in Antigua as part of a press tour to show off their new A330 aircraft, says Virgin remains committed to the tournament and sports in general, offering up to 50 pounds of sports equipment, including golf clubs, free to its passengers.   This is Virgin Atlantic's third year as a Platinum Sponsor of the event, donating 2 pairs of Premium Economy return tickets, Antigua-London.

Scotiabank, this year’s Silver Sponsor, entered a team led by Commercial Director Sham Bassant.  Gordon Julien, the bank’s Country Manager said he was happy to be associated with the Tournament, not only as a sporting event, but based on its overall objective to support women through educational development at the tertiary level. 

“These objectives are aligned with Scotiabank’s ‘Bright Future Programme’ which brings together the passion of our employees, the insight of our partners, and the spirit of our community,” stated Julien, who was on hand for the tournament.  “We look forward to our future involvement in this very important event, where we hope to build on its current successes.”

With their registration fee, each golfer received a Colombian Emeralds backpack, bottled water from A.S. Bryden/Blue Waters, snacks from Wall Enterprises Ltd., lunch and drink tickets, golf balls and pins courtesy of Virgin Atlantic Airways, water bottles and towels from Scotiabank, a glass of LaMarca Proseco, and a ticket for a chance to win 2 Premium Economy Return Tickets Antigua-London on Virgin Atlantic Airways.  

Of the 21 teams playing in the Tournament, Team West Indies Oil Company (WIOC), headed by the company’s Chief Financial Officer Gregory Georges, included three of the most talented golfers in Antigua and the region, namely Paul Michael, Omarry James and Otis Thomas.  They were the Team First Gross with 55 points and Georges’ second straight win back to back.  Georges said it was a privilege to play with the members of his team, and thanked the hard-working members of the IWC for an exceptionally well-organized and fun tournament, saying that the West Indies Oil Company was proud to be associated with the IWC golf tournament since the inception of the tournament 5 years ago.   “WIOC was happy to sponsor both a golf team and a hole, as we are well aware that this is a charitable organization that has given back tremendously to Antigua and Barbuda in terms of education.” Each member of the team won a Gold Trophy crafted by Sign Pro, and an exclusive pair of High Performance/Extreme Polarized sunglasses from the Greg Norman Eyewear Collection courtesy of Eye Mobile Caribbean. Greg Norman is an Australian professional golfer and entrepreneur nicknamed “The Shark”,  who spent 331 weeks as the world’s #1 ranked golfer in the 1980’s and 1990’s. 

“This is the first year that we [the IWC] introduced top quality prizes in addition to trophies and medals for the top finishers,” says Avonelle Pole, who helped organize the tournament.  “This is part of an overall strategy to increase interest and competitiveness, and to reward the players for their support.”

Team 1st Net ~ L to R: Tedson Weatherill, Jude Rich, Maudlin Evans and Zorol Barthley. Photo courtesy of Eustace Samuel.

The women on the Team 1st Net were Maudlin Evans and Jude Rich.  Rich was ecstatic about her win, and said it was wonderful to see such a large turnout of teams in support of the IWC who does such a tremendous job raising the means for ladies to further enhance their professional qualifications. “The organization of this tournament was superb” says Rich, “it’s obvious that a lot of effort goes into the planning, the sponsors were extremely generous, and so much fun was had by all.  It was personally a thrill and an honour to play with a couple of champions,” referring to her teammates Zorol Barthley and Tedson Weatherill.  Each player on the team received a Silver Medal designed by Sign Pro, and a beautiful crystal decanter complemented by a bottle of Vintage El Dorado Rum from A.S. Bryden/El Dorado.

In addition to the 1st Team Gross and Net, Bronze medals and Guess Watches from Colombian Emeralds were awarded for Nearest Pin Men and Nearest Pin Ladies. Medals were also awarded for the Longest Drive Super Senior/Senior/Men/Ladies and Junior.  Special Hole-in-One prizes were sponsored by Caribbean Helicopters and painter Jane Seagull. 

All golfers were treated to a delicious lunch catered by the Cedar Valley Clubhouse Restaurant followed by a spirited auction that has become the highlight of the event.  The IWC relies on the success of the auction because this is the major driver for fundraising to make the IWC Scholarship Programme a reality. 

Although it is too early to determine exactly how much money was raised, IWC Treasurer Sue Sharpe expects that “after all expenses for organizing and executing the Tournament are paid, the IWC will most likely surpass last year’s total.” 

This is good news for the IWC Scholarship Programme which this past July, paid out approximately EC$40,000 in grants to 9 deserving Antiguan women of varying backgrounds and career interests, to help them defray the cost of their tertiary education.  The International Women’s Club Golf for Education Tournament  also supports a stipend each school year for an adult remedial education teacher through Project Hope, provides a major prize for the Wadadli Pen Writing Competition, and funds materials for the Back-to-School Project, assisting up to 15 youngsters in need. 

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