The Japanese tsunami and earthquake relief efforts will be the focus on the final day of this year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open as the Championship Committee today announced that it will make a donation to the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal for every birdie or better achieved by the entire field on Sunday, 31st July 2011.
The money raised on ‘Super Sunday’ will provide support for the Red Cross relief efforts to help those most affected by the natural disaster earlier this year.
Representatives from the Championship Committee comprised of senior executives from the LGU, IMG, Ricoh, the LPGA and Ladies’ European Tour commented as follows:
Guy Kinnings, Managing Director, IMG Golf said, “We are very happy to support this initiative and hope to see a lot of red on the leader board on Sunday. IMG has offices in Japan and has a very close relationship with Ricoh and many other Japanese companies and we feel honoured to assist with fundraising efforts through this initiative.”
Shiro Kondo, President and Chief Executive of the Ricoh Group, said, “As Japan tries to recover from this horrific disaster we are delighted to involve the Ricoh Women’s British Open in the relief efforts. Players were quick to throw their support behind raising funds and have been very generous. Many players have done a wonderful job of lifting spirits by their performances on course and I am sure each one will get a little more pleasure than normal out of a birdie on the final day of this prestigious Major.”
Shona Malcolm, CEO of the Ladies’ Golf Union added “Ricoh has been a wonderful sponsor of the Women’s British Open since 2007 and we are very happy that we have found a way for this year’s Championship to support relief efforts in Japan. Sunday of a Major is always exciting but this will certainly add an extra buzz to the final day.”
And many of the players welcomed the initiative and gave their thoughts on the announcement.
Defending champion, Yani Tseng, said, “This is a wonderful idea and I know we will all be hoping to play our best and add our birdies to the tally. Last year I only managed a final round 73 and so I hope I can do much better on ‘Super Sunday’ at Carnoustie.”
Japan’s Number One, Ai Miyazato added, “Playing so much in America especially in the weeks following the earthquake and tsunami was really hard as all you want to do is get involved in helping. That’s why we have been raising funds and of course, trying to do well on the golf course so to send some good news back home. We are really grateful to the Ricoh Women’s British Open for adding to the relief efforts and also for their sponsorship of this important tournament.”
Ricoh ambassador, Paula Creamer, added, “This is a fantastic idea and while you don’t need any motivation to make a birdie in the final round of a Major, it will be all the sweeter knowing that it will benefit such an important cause.”
Mark Astarita, Director of Fundraising at the British Red Cross, concluded, “We are very grateful for all contributions to assist our relief efforts following this devastating disaster and are dedicated to helping the Japanese people rebuild their lives and recover as far as possible. So far our Japan Tsunami Appeal has raised more than £10 million which goes towards our relief and recovery programme. ”
In the unlikely event that we raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters either overseas or here in the UK as part of our Disaster Fund.
The Ricoh Women’s British Open will be played at Carnoustie, 28th to 31st July 2011. The Championship was founded by the LGU in 1976 and is staged in conjunction with IMG, the world’s largest sports marketing company. The event has been co-sanctioned by the LPGA and LET since 1994 and gained Major status in 2001.
Ricoh, the leading technology provider of Managed Document Services and Production Printing, has been the title sponsor of the Ricoh Women’s British Open since 2007.
Ricoh Women’s British Open www.ricohwomensbritishopen.com