Youngsters shine at NCBA Junior Series third edition

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Youngsters shine at NCBA Junior Series third edition
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The NCBA Junior Golf Series concluded its third season with much fanfare and outstanding performances from budding golfers on Wednesday.

Timothy Tayebwa emerged victorious against Ezra Kabenge in a dramatic three-hole sudden death playoff, clinching the boys' under-6 title with a score of 47 strokes.

Arriana Jenny showcased exceptional talent and promise, scoring an impressive 36 strokes, while Dante Kawalya followed closely with 43. Lucas Kimara posted a strong 42, Vivaan Menon carded 45, and Jordan van Rooyen finished with 81.

Similarly, Shashank Gadre, Gavin Bwambale, and Ariana Bholim delivered notable scores of 84, 86, and 85, respectively.

Edgar Tusiime, NCBA Bank's head of marketing and communication, emphasized the bank’s commitment to the sport's development from grassroots to professional levels.

He said: “NCBA is deeply passionate about golf. We are committed to its growth and have a variety of events lined up, including the NCBA Golf Junior Series in partnership with US Kids Golf, and other tournaments for adults in Jinja, Entebbe, and Kampala.”

The NCBA Junior Golf Series has been instrumental in nurturing young talent, supporting players from as young as six up to eighteen years old.

Tusiime said the tournament aims to nurture young golfers from an early age so that they can grow into skilled players capable of representing Uganda in international competitions.

The initiative also emphasizes inclusivity by sponsoring children from less privileged backgrounds, challenging the notion that golf is a sport only for the affluent.

With season three now in the books, anticipation for season four is palpable. The upcoming season promises to expand the series to new courses, including Mary Louise Simkins Golf Club in Namulonge and venues in Lugazi, as well as more upcountry locations.

“We are here for the long haul. Our support for golf is unwavering because the sport's strategic and precise nature aligns with our values as a bank,” Tusiime stated.

He said in addition to the junior series, NCBA Bank continues to champion golf through various tournaments, including the Ladies Open and other events, reinforcing their leadership in supporting Uganda’s golfing community.

Theo Van Rooyen, the US Kids Golf director in Uganda, highlighted the progress made by young golfers. He noted that many kids who started with scores around 135 have improved to scores of 90.

“The competition has been robust, particularly in age groups with more participants,” he explained.

He also highlighted the importance of making the sport accessible.

“We want to find sponsors for local kids who might not afford to play regularly. This is because increased participation will enhance competition and overall skill development," Van Rooyen said.

"The courses’ support, especially by opening up on Sundays for juniors, has been crucial."

Looking ahead to season four, the series will kick off with a two-day event in Lugazi.

“We observed some mental fatigue in Serena, so we are transitioning to two-day events. This format also provides opportunities for families to socialize and for us to engage with parents about growing the game,” Van Rooyen said.

The fourth season is set to launch in Lugazi, promising an exciting new chapter for junior golf in Uganda.

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