China Golf Association (CGA) and HSBC have announced the re-signing of the collaborative CGA-HSBC Junior Golf Program for another 3 years. The program is designed to support the grassroots development of golf in China through a series of events, tournaments, training and campus programs targeted at junior golfers.
The announcement was made at a press conference held at the Shangri-la Hotel in Shanghai. The ceremony was official when featuring a golf ball being putted across centre stage and into the hole, instantaneously lighting up the CGA-HSBC Junior Golf Program’s partnership logo.
Present at the event were Mr. Li Dazheng, Deputy Director of Multi Ball Games Administrative Center of General Administration of Sport of China, Vice President of China Golf Association; Ms. Helen Wong, Deputy Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Bank (China) Company Limited (HSBC China); Mr. Will Wei ,Head of Golf, IMG China ; and Ms. Lu Yuwen, a junior golf player representative.
The CGA-HSBC China Junior Golf Program is the only official junior golf development program sanctioned by CGA. It is designed as a sustainable plan to promote the long-term development of junior golf in China through its forward-thinking concepts and systematic introduction of tournaments, training and promotions. Since its inception in 2007, the program has served as a platform of growth for budding junior golf talents. It has enabled golf enthusiasts to immerse in the game more fully, raised the standards of golf, as well as popularized the sport across the country. More and more potential golf stars have been uncovered in the last 6 years and are now stepping up to the international golf circuit, gaining national and worldwide attention.
“The long-term career objective of our collaboration with HSBC is to nurture a team of young golfers into professional golf athletes, so as to represent China in the Olympics. From an outreach perspective, we also hope that more young people will be able to experience golf and fall in love with this great sport,” said Zhang Xiaoning, Director of Multi Ball Games Administrative Center of General Administration of Sport of China, emphasizing the importance of this program.
Li Dazheng, Deputy Director of Multi Ball Games Administrative Center of General Administration of Sport of China, Vice President of China Golf Association is pleased that the program has obtained such remarkable results. “More and more young golf enthusiasts are enrolling into the program. Through their exposure to golf, they are discovering their passion towards this sport. As the official platform in effectively nurturing junior golf talents, the program helps to set a solid foundation in training them into successful professional golfers. Many rising stars are now emerging on both the national and international golf arena,”
These athletes have undergone more than 6 years of grueling hard work in honing their skills. Ms. Helen Wong, Deputy Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of HSBC China, expressed her delight looking back at the program’s progress: “HSBC’s eight years of continuous collaboration with CGA is now seeing tremendous results in creating a huge pool of young golf talents. We are witnessing with pride and joy the rise of Chinese golf stars in the international golf arena. HSBC has always been a fervent supporter of golf, a commitment backed by its 148 years of history in banking and finance.”
A handful of “Made-in-China” golf prodigies are now gaining spotlight on the international golf circuit. There are Guan Tianlang, who was recently the youngest ever to participate in The Masters; Ye Wocheng, the youngest to take part in the European Open; Liu Yu, who recently won her second professional championship; Feng Shanshan, the first female golfer to claim the Chinese National Championship; as well as Shi Yuting, a member of the National Junior team. These athletes each conveyed their well wishes for the signing ceremony via video greetings.
Guan Tianlang said: “Since the start of CGA-HSBC Junior Golf Program in 2007, I have participated in many tournaments and have had the honor and privilege of playing a hole with Tiger Woods at the 2010 WGC-HSBC Champions Pro-Am tournament. I love golf, and I hope that more people my age can participate and find passion in this wonderful game! Here I wish for all the junior golfers to keep striving hard in sharpening their skills and achieving success. Good luck!”
The R&A is the world governing body of golf and organizer of tournaments worldwide, including The Open Championship at St. Andrews, Scotland. Dominic Wall, Director of The R&A, Asia Pacific, said: “The R&A is delighted to continue its support of the CGA-HSBC Junior Golf Program. The Program plays an important role in both introducing golf to Chinese children and then helping them develop into golfers. The recent efforts of Guan Tianlang at The Masters and Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship are a credit to the program and exciting signs for golf in China.”
The 3-year renewal agreement reflects HSBC’s consistent dedication to the strategic development of golf in China. It is also an affirmation of the success achieved since 2005 with CGA. “HSBC is committed to working closely with CGA towards the sustainable development of golf in China, as well as the growth of talented golfers in the country,” said Mr. Giles Morgan, HSBC’s Global Head of Sponsorship and Events. “The progress we have seen has given us confidence in investing towards the successful development of China as a golfing hub in the region”
In 2013, the CGA-HSBC Junior Golf Development Program will continue to roll out initiatives such as professional tournaments, winter and summer golf camps, as well as comprehensive training programs nationwide. On-campus programs include the training of physical education teachers in elementary and high schools, to complement the setting up of golf classes and extra-curricular activities. These program initiatives will provide a strong foundation to spark young people’s interest in golf and help cultivate more talented players.