The event falls in line with SPAR’s mission statement of supporting national campaigns with four beneficiaries – On Eagles Wings (gender-based violence), Igazi Foundation (healthy living), Wings and Wishes (family) and the Southern African Association for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (environmental awareness) – being selected.
SPAR EC promotions and events manager Alan Stapleton paid tribute to the organisations for their contributions to society.
“On Eagles Wings, based in Jeffreys Bay, is about the community as they educate the public about gender-based violence, and it also feeds into providing sanitary products for schoolgirls.”
He explained that Wings and Wishes was about helping family while the Igazi Foundation focused on fighting cancer and educating rural communities about early cancer detection.
Apart from saving penguins, Stapleton said SANCCOB created awareness of the damage being done to the natural environment through plastic pollution.
In all, a total of R34 000 was donated to each of the beneficiaries, marking another memorable occasion despite the rainy weather that tested the golfers’ patience from mid-afternoon at the PE Golf Club.
The day was limited to 25 four-balls due to Covid-19 restrictions, with the “prize-offering” taking place afterwards.
“We call it a prize-offering because in some cases the winners donated back to the beneficiaries,” said Stapleton.
Besides the top four four-ball winners in the competition presenting R1 000 each to each of the recipients, the fun activity of collecting stones spread around the course was introduced to raise further funds.
The collection of penguin-painted stones was used to enable SPAR to fund the finders’ adoption of penguins, with 16 being adopted by the end of the day.
The golf day also extended its aim to grow the game by inviting non-golfers to experience the sport via a fun event. Participants were given a brief coaching session, followed by a driving, chipping and putting competition.
To achieve this, participants were set up in teams under the names of the beneficiaries and taken through the various disciplines by club pro Graeme Whale.
Unfortunately, the rain spoilt matters somewhat, but Whale said there was a terrific atmosphere at the start of the activities.
“They were very excited and a little bit boisterous,” he said with a grin, “but once we got some discipline going we saw some very good swings. This is a great initiative by SPAR because they understand what needs to be done to extend the game of golf to others.”
Despite cold, wind and some very welcome rain, Stapleton said the SPAR EC Penguin Classic once again raised the bar in bringing like-minded people together in a community spirit of sharing and caring.