As golf’s biggest superstars teed off at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the emirate’s HSBC Future Falcons programme unearthed some next generation stars of its own during an action-packed day of competition and fun.
The ‘HSBC Skills Challenge’ final, which tested the swing, chip and putt, saw exciting performances from 48 top talents from the city’s junior golf programmes. Arnav Nath was awarded for the best score overall, with nine other winners crowned across nine categories (see below).
Ahead of the final, the budding young golfers received inspiration and tips from in-form Rafa Cabrera Bello who is currently one shot off the lead in Abu Dhabi, and 25 year-old rising star Eddie Pepperell. The HSBC Future Falcons soaked up advice and motivational anecdotes, eagerly asked questions and took photos with the players in the busy Championship Village.
Speaking about the importance of growing the game amongst juniors, Pepperell said: “It’s very important because if we don’t, then there won’t be a game in 50 years’ time.
“You always need to look forward and they are the future, just like I was the future when I was 5, 10, 15 years old. I had the support and it’s only right that we give the support back where we can.”
Cabrera Bello added: “I think it’s great. It’s good for the kids to see that we’re normal people – we were like them when we were their age and it’s nice to see them get so involved and ask so many questions.”
The excited juniors rounded off their day with a meet and greet with young fan favourite and reigning Abu Dhabi champion Rickie Fowler, and Abu Dhabi Sports Council’s General Secretary H.E. Aref Al Awani.
In addition to HSBC Future Falcons activities, the Championship is offering a range of opportunities for youngsters to try golf including ‘HSBC Hour’ clinics and multiple sports activations in the Championship Village.
The HSBC Skills Challenge winners included: Sheikha Sheikha Bint Nahyan Al Nahyan (UAE national champion), Kashvi Mahajan (U16/14 girls), Palash Chawan (U14 boys), Pallav Chawan (U12 boys), Sakura Kawakami (U12 girls), Arnav Nath (U10 boys and overall winner), Lara El Chaib (U10 girls), Viraj Bulla (U8 boys) and Toshani Chakraborty (U8 girls).
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship www.abudhabigolfchampionship.com
For more details on HSBC’s golf activities, visit www.hsbcgolf.com