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Els is SA golf’s “Champion of Hope”

Els is SA golf’s “Champion of Hope”

The 2013 Sanlam Cancer Challenge has teed off in 2013 with a strong theme of hope following Ernie Els’s message of support for the recent winners of South Africa’s biggest charitable sporting event.

Els, the patron of the Sanlam Cancer Challenge, distinguished himself as the “Champion of Hope” at the end of the memorable 2012 series when he treated the overall winners to a full Ernie Els Experience.

The two tournament winners were joined by two lucky draw winners who met Els at the Oubaai Golf Estate near George for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that included a round of golf on the Ernie Els-designed course, a meeting with Els, signed pin flags from his 2012 Open Championship victory, a night in the Hyatt Regency Hotel at Oubaai, a tour of the Ernie Els Winery in Stellenbosch, and dinner at the Big Easy Restaurant.  (You too can win such an experience in 2013, click on link and stand a chance to WIN a Golf Trip for 4, worth R28 000!  The closing date for entries is Friday 11 October 2013.)

Brian Ireton - Lucky Draw Winner , Michaela Fletcher - 2012 Sanlam Cancer Challenge Overall Winner, Ernie Els - Champion of Hope,  Werner Ferreira- 2012 Sanlam Cancer Challenge Overall Winner, Pat Taylor - Lucky Draw Winner

From left to right: Brian Ireton – Lucky Draw Winner, Michaela Fletcher – 2012 Sanlam Cancer Challenge Overall Winner, Ernie Els – Champion of Hope, Werner Ferreira- 2012 Sanlam Cancer Challenge Overall Winner, Pat Taylor – Lucky Draw Winner

“It was an amazing experience and something I will remember for the rest of my life,” said Bredasdorp’s Werner Ferreira, who was the winner of the Men’s Overall Section in 2012.

Pietermaritzburg’s Michaela Fletcher, who won the Women’s Overall Section, described it as, “The highlight of my golfing career”.

Milnerton Golf Club’s Patrick Taylor and Brian Ireton from Simon’s Town Golf Club were the two lucky draw winners of the experience, with Ireton adding, “We were treated like royalty and I felt like a superstar”.

It was a memorable conclusion to a 2012 series that made history when it earned a permanent home in the South African Golf Gall of Fame at Oubaai Golf Estate.

In 2012 this nationwide amateur tournament attracted entries from almost 40 000 golfers nationwide as they took part in the 800 club qualifying competitions, all with the aim of raising valuable funds for the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA).

Since its inception in 1993, the Sanlam Cancer Challenge has raised close to R30 million for CANSA to assist with research into the disease and the treatment thereof.

“We are very proud of the support we give CANSA, but it is even more heartwarming to see the support we get from the South African golf community. All the golfers who take part make a big difference to the cause. And to have Ernie Els give so much of his time and energy to our cause is a fantastic endorsement of this event,” said Gary van Loggerenberg, Sanlam Sponsorship Manager.

Sue Janse van Rensburg, CEO of CANSA, also paid tribute to Els’s support of the tournament.

“Ernie Els is a hero to South African golfers, but his support of this event makes him a true Champion of Hope in that he inspires so many people suffering with cancer. We are honoured to have people like him and a company such as Sanlam supporting us in such a committed fashion.”

Registration for the 2013 Sanlam Cancer Challenge will begin in February at golf clubs around South Africa. This will be followed by the nationwide club competitions from March to July, the Regional Finals from August to September, and culminating in the Finals at Sun City on both the Gary Player Country Club and Lost City Golf Club courses in October.

For more information go to www.sanlamcancerchallenge.co.za.

About the Sanlam Cancer Challenge and CANSA

Sanlam and CANSA have partnered the Sanlam Cancer Challenge since 1993. CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa by offering a unique and integrated service to the public and all people affected by cancer. As a leading roleplayer in cancer research (more than R4.5 million spent annually), the scientific findings and knowledge gained from research are used to realign the health programmes as well as strengthen the watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public.

CANSA has more than 330 staff, 12 000 volunteers, 60 offices as well as 13 interim homes in the main cities for out-of-town cancer patients accessing treatment. CANSA runs a toll-free information service during office hours 0800 22 66 22. CANSA gives out free Cancer Coping kits in English, seSotho, isiZulu and Afrikaans. For more information, visit www.cansa.org.za or contact CANSA toll-free 0800 22 66 22 email: info@cansa.org.za.

The purpose of the Sanlam Cancer Challenge is to raise funds and awareness annually for the fight against cancer. Close to 40 000 golfers play in more than 800 club competitions held around the country in support of CANSA’s prevention programmes and patient care services throughout the year. Visit www.sanlamcancerchallenge.co.za.

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