“Golf & Tourism in Greece” publisher Ellie Abravanel-Valsamidi’s fervent wish for Greek golf to gain a reputation outside its borders and enter the sport’s international arena is about to be fulfilled.
After an intensive three-year correspondence with the Nick Faldo Trust, the director of the Faldo Series Championship Kerry McDonald made a lightening trip to Athens on 1 October.
“Our aim was to examine the possibility of incorporating Greece into the Faldo Series Championship, which is currently played in twenty-five countries on three continents. So we pursued a meeting between Mr. McDonald and the executives of the Glyfada Golf Club of Athens,” stated Ms. Abravanel.
“The meeting with the Faldo Series representative took place in the Club’s offices,” she continued. “Participants included the publisher of our magazine, the president of the Hellenic Golf Federation Petros Doukas, the president of the Glyfada Golf Club Konstantinos Valasakis, its treasurer Spyros Rodakakis, the new captain Robert Simpson, and the head of the Academies Giorgos Vafeiadis.
The meeting took place under excellent conditions and lasted two hours. About the results, Mr. Rodakakis, who coordinated the contacts with the Faldo Series, said: “The Faldo Championship takes place on an annual basis in twenty-five countries on three continents, and is geared toward boys and girls in various age categories through age 21. The winners qualify for the Grand Final, which will be held this October in Brazil.
We believe that Greece will receive multiple benefits from this venture.
- Improved potential of young players through competition with equal or better players from neighbouring countries in the Mediterranean and Balkan regions.
- International advertising promotion for Greek golfing.
- International publicity for the course that organizes the tournament.
“The discussions went very well given the spirit of mutual understanding, and a preliminary agreement was reached,” said Mr. Rodakakis. “Of course, many things must proceed in order to create a successful event and enduring collaboration, but the Glyfada Golf Club of Athens is determined to bring the entire venture to fruition.
“It would indeed be a wonderful thing, since it would enable our young children to become the pillar of a national Greek team capable of representing this country in the 2016 Olympic Games.”