Affiliate in Focus
Early in 2010, The R&A’s Director of Golf Development, Duncan Weir, returned from Bangladesh after visiting the country with a group from St Andrews, the Home of Golf.
The initiative was developed by local St Andrews businessman and entrepreneur, Abdur Rouf, aided by Mark Rigg, Managing Director of Links Golf St Andrews, with the purpose of fostering the historic ties between Scotland and Bangladesh.
“The delegation was proud and privileged to extend the good wishes of St Andrews on this visit, which has been almost two years in the making,” said Mark Rigg. “The endorsement of St Andrews’ most recognisable institutions, like The R&A, reflects a desire to enhance Bangladesh’s interests and ensure its well-being in the golfing world.”
The visit included trips to Kurmitola Golf Club, located in the centre of the capital city Dhaka, and to Bhatiary Golf and Country Club just outside Bangladesh’s second city, Chittagong. A highlight, though, was a visit to Amirjan School in the village of Dumni where a cultural performance was staged by underprivileged children.
Each year, the Bangladesh Golf Federation (BGF) receives £18,000 from The R&A, some of which is directed towards developing emerging Bangladeshi golfing talent. A large proportion, however, is used in the classroom to teach important lessons like the value of good nutrition, as well as the more traditional academic subjects.
“The work carried out by the Bangladesh Golf Federation is extremely impressive,” explained Duncan Weir. “They are using our funds to develop the life skills of several promising young golfers, male and female, and this was a clear illustration of R&A money being particularly well spent.”
“We now look forward to seeing two Bangladeshi juniors at our Junior Open Championships at Lundin Golf Club in July, and to welcoming officials from the BGF to St Andrews for the imminent Referees School.”
The golf courses that were visited by the group, Kurmitola and Bhatiary, have been earmarked to receive a number of items of new greenkeeping machinery. And it is more than likely that R&A support of the Bangladesh Golf Federation’s commendable activities will continue for the foreseeable future.