Special Day for youngsters at Senior Open

Youngsters in Wales will be given a special opportunity to see some of golf’s most iconic names in action at next week’s Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex at Royal Porthcawl as part of a community social responsibility initiative called “Give A Special Day.”

As part of The Senior Open Championship’s first visit to Wales, the Championship is aiming to leave a legacy in the local Bridgend area, with the Give A Special Day initiative designed to inspire and encourage people of all backgrounds to get involved in the game of golf.

Local businesses have been given the chance to make a real difference to those people who would otherwise not have been able to be part of this prestigious sporting occasion by donating a sum of money which is converted directly into the equivalent amount of tickets.

Those tickets are then given to a nominated group, charity or group of individuals who would not have been able to afford to attend The Senior Open Championship, thereby giving them a ‘special day’.

Pencoed-based business, Sony UK Technology Centre, which manufacturers professional and broadcast cameras in Wales, has backed the scheme, donating tickets to the Valleys Golf Enterprise, a social enterprise company which delivers golf coaching, education and training within some of the poorest communities in Wales.

Established with the aim of breaking down the barriers to participation in golf regardless of social background, ethnic origin, sex, age or ability, Valleys Golf has established a number of coaching academies throughout South Wales with the aim to teach underprivileged children what a great sport golf is.

Gerald Kelly, General Manager of Sony UK Technology Centre commented: “To have an iconic golfing event take place in Wales is really exciting and we are delighted to take part in the ‘Give A Special Day’ initiative.

“We have been present in Wales for forty years and throughout this time we have always supported the local community through our work with local education facilities and sporting clubs. The ‘Give A Special Day’ initiative supports our values to inspire, encourage and educate the younger generation. We’re looking forward to giving the tickets to the Valleys Golf Enterprise so that underprivileged children can get a chance to see the tournament and have a day to remember.”

Andy Stubbs, Managing Director of the European Senior Tour, said on behalf of the Championship: “The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex is the first Senior Major to be played in Wales, and we are delighted to be able to use the occasion to give something back to the local community through this Give A Special Day initiative.

“We want people from all parts of the community to engage with the Championship, and we thank Sony for helping these local children be part of what promises to be a special week for everyone involved.”

Colin Gardiner the Managing Director of Valleys Golf and recipient of the Give a Special Day tickets said: “We are delighted to be receiving this very generous offer of tickets from Sony UK Technology Centre via the Senior Open Championship initiative. It makes such a difference for these children who would not have otherwise been able to come to such a wonderful event and see so many world class golfers, and it’s sure to be an inspirational experience for them.”

Former Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam, an ambassador for Valleys Golf and one of the star attractions at The Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl, will be treating this group of children from socially deprived areas of South Wales to a clinic on the eve of the tournament on Wednesday, July 23.

Woosnam said: "I know how hard it is to reach the very top of the sport and I’m really looking forward to help get these children excited by golf and give them an opportunity to learn how to play this great game.”

Other players featuring in The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex including Bernhard Langer, Miguel Angel Jiménez, Tom Watson and Colin Montgomerie, who is bidding to complete a clean sweep of the Major Championships on the European Senior Tour.

Any One Day tickets for the biggest Senior golf championship in Europe are priced at £30, while season tickets, which include the Official Practice Day on Wednesday, July 23, are only £80. Practice day entry on July 23 only is £15.

Tickets for The 2014 Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex at Royal Porthcawl can be bought online via www.senioropengolf.com  or by calling +44 (0)800 0232557, with details of the hospitality packages also available.