Grange announces scholarship at launch of golf project

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Olivia Grange, has announced a scholarship to be granted by Government in the name of Vittoria Marley, the promising young golfer who died recently in an accident while taking part in a tournament in Montego Bay.

Minister Grange said: “We will release details of the scholarship after meetings which will involve the Ministry, the Sports development Foundation (SDF) and members of Vittoria’s family. The scholarship will be awarded to an outstanding young golfer to continue his or her education to the highest level.”

The Minister, who was addressing the launch of the Mojo In The City Golf Project which was held at the Constant Spring Golf Club, continued:  “It is no secret that Jamaica has some of the best golf courses in the world.  But yet we had not hosted any major golf tournament for 20 years.  I am happy that we able to change that earlier this year with the staging of the LPGA MoJo Six Jamaica Raceway Golf tournament.  Sixteen of the world’s best women golfers competed at Cinnamon Hill in a tournament that bears our country’s name, was seen across the world, and which is destined to become a permanent event on the LPGA calendar.

“It is our aim to fill our sports calendar with as many high quality events as we can and to attract as many of the world’s top performers to Jamaica as we can.  But in all of this, local sports and the local economy must benefit.  And that is why we spoke to organisers of the Mojo 6 about our new sports development strategy; we introduced them to the leadership of the JGA; and together we talked about golf development.  This revamped ‘Mojo In The City Project’ is the result of those discussions.

“The Mojo In The City Golf project will introduce young Jamaicans to the sport of golf and help to develop their skill.  This project will contribute to our main goal of developing sports for all Jamaicans; to create a framework for all Jamaicans to succeed in sports from the high performance level to the grass roots.  We want to make sports part of the way of life of more Jamaicans, and use sports to help develop an active society.

“Government recognises the importance of sports to national development.  For us, sports matter.  And we have been demonstrating our commitment to sports development in a very tangible way.

“I am happy that we were able to provide more than $2 million in direct contribution to the JGA’s programme last year.  I am also proud of the role that my Ministry has played in facilitating the new partnership between the JGA and the promoters of the LPGA MoJo Six Jamaica Raceway Golf tournament which has enabled us to revamp the ‘In the City Golf Project.’”

The Mojo Six organisation has donated US$16,000.00 to the Mojo In The City Golf Project and at today’s function a donation of J$88,640 was made by golfer Jody Munn, who was Vittoria’s aunt.

Initially, two schools will be participating in the Project, St. Anne’s Primary and St. Aloysius Primary in St. Andrew; with 33 pupils coming from St. Anne’s and 21 from St. Aloysius. The children will be introduced to the sport through the “Starting New at Golf (SNAG) concept.

The SNAG concept is based on the teaching of golf using modified equipment and detailed lesson plans. It is designed to provide active and sound fundamental instructions to very young beginners.

Others present at the launch included Mr. David Mais, Chairman of the SDF; Mr. Wayne Chai Chong, President of the Jamaica Golf Association; Mrs. Estella Forrester, Principal of St. Anne’s; and little Kimoy-Marie Douglas from St. Aloysius who spoke on behalf of her colleague beginners.

Following the launch, the youth demonstrated their ability on the golf course, earning appreciative applause from the spectators led by Minister Grange who herself had a swing.