20 Mar Challengers tees up partnership with BMW PGA Championship
A children’s disability charity has teed up a fundraising partnership with a European golf tournament. Around £50,000 of funding could be raised for the charity that works to improve the lives of disabled children. Challengers, which has a centre at Stoke Park in Guildford, has been named as the official charity of the BMW PGA Championship 2014, which takes place in May at Wentworth Golf Club as the flagship event of the European Tour.
The charity is expected to benefit from fundraising in the region of £50,000 during the tournament week, with the majority being raised through donations from spectators in exchange for the championship’s official programme.
European Tour players Richard Bland and James Morrison attended a launch event for the partnership at Challengers’ Guildford base on Tuesday (March 18).
Morrison explained a personal connection with Challengers, as a Guildford man himself.
“I live literally half-a-mile down the road, so I drive past it every day,” he said.
“For me it is a great charity to be involved with and something I will look in the future to carry on being involved with.
“The charity makes such a big difference to the lives of the children they look after, so I was happy to help out in any way I could.
“Hopefully we can raise lots of money at the tournament and bring a bit of happiness to the children’s lives.”
Bland said: “It is brilliant to come in and see the kids, and a few of the parents.
“It is a fantastic organisation with what they do for the kids and whatever we can do to help is fantastic. It is a very worthy cause.
“Working with these children reminds you how incredibly lucky we golfers are, so it’s very important to give something back.”
Challengers will use the funds raised to help provide a specialist 2:1 support service [two support workers to each child] for children with complex needs to access and enjoy play and leisure facilities.
Laura Sercombe, chief executive of the charity, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for Challengers. We applied to BMW PGA for the opporunity of being their charity of the year and were overwhelmed when they actually said yes to us.
“Like all charities, fundraising is getting harder and harder and harder. We really value the fact that this is a new opportunity for us to really reach our target, which without this funding we just wouldn’t do.”
David Park, charity executive of the European Tour, said he was “delighted” to appoint Challengers as the championship’s official charity.
For more information, visit www.disability-challengers.org .