Stephen Ferreira faces a big test at the NAC HIV and Cancer Prevention Drive Pro-Am Golf Tournament. National Aids Council expects the second edition, set for Royal Harare Golf Club in the first week of October, to be bigger.
Ferreira is the defending champion, but the 2017 edition seems to be bigger, with a prize fund of US$35 000.
He will face big competition from Zambian Muthiya Madalitso and Ryan Cairns, among other top golfers in the country.
The tournament is aimed at raising “financial and material resources to purchase 15 sets of mobile cancer testing equipment for rural health centres across the country”.
“… (as well as) to raise awareness and disseminate information on closing the tap of new HIV and cancer infections,” said NAC chief executive Tapuwa Magure.
Dr Magure added that awareness programmes will be running concurrently with the tournament.
“As part of the tournament, we have already rolled out massive HIV and cancer awareness messages promoting uptake of testing and screening services. The corporates that have partnered us are also reaping rewards through advertising space on our programmes,” he said.
And there are many adjustments to the tournament.
“This year also sees the introduction of a Ladies Competition as part of the event. This is a qualifying round, played the day before the main tournament begins, and is open to ladies from all the golf clubs across the country. All costs are sponsored by NAC, with the winners automatically entered into the Pro-Am tournament,” NAC said.
“The HIV & Cancer Prevention Drive Pro-Am Golf Tournament will run from the 3rd to the 6th October 2017, at the prestigious Royal Harare Golf Club. The ladies segment of the event will be played on Tuesday 6th October, and the professional golfers will play a three day tournament with the field ‘cut’ to 25 players after day 2 thereafter.
“Those pros that “make the cut” will then go into the tournament’s final day, Friday 6th October, and be teamed up with three amateur players to play in the Pro-Am tournament.”
Minister of Health and Child Care David Parirenyatwa believes Pro-Am Golf Tournament is vital.
“In addition to the above roles that NAC have already fully embraced, they have also recognised the need for resource mobilisation in view of the inadequacy of resources that we face. This golf tournament therefore comes in that regard as we need to scale up interventions to curtail cancer,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.