Proteas urge Golfers to get behind Sanlam Cancer Challenge
Johannesburg (29 August 2012) – South Africa’s national netball team have thrown their overwhelming support behind the Sanlam Cancer Challenge golf tournament, urging the country’s golfers to get behind the country’s biggest charitable sporting event. “On the court, we recently celebrated a great run in the Diamond Challenge against Malawi, Botswana and Zimbabwe, but off the court, our success was clouded by the fact that several members of the Spar Proteas side has been dealing with the affects of cancer,” explained national coach Elize Kotze.
“At least 150 people are diagnosed with cancer every hour and when cancer hits this close to home, you really become aware of the work others are doing in this area. That’s why we as a team truly appreciate the mammoth task Sanlam has undertaken with the Sanlam Cancer Challenge.” Kotze explained that, in addition to herself, cancer has also affected three other members of the squad.
“Two of my closest friends are currently undergoing aggressive treatment for cancer,” she said. “Our team manager Claudine Claassen is in remission with breast cancer, while our team doctor, Koba van der Walt, is being treated for leukaemia. Chrisna Botha, our chief goal shooter, has recently learned that her father has been diagnosed with cancer.
“The Spar Proteas unit is like a small family and we all feel the effects of what our friends and family are dealing with. Cancer is hitting closer and closer to home and that’s why we think Sanlam is doing a fantastic job with the Sanlam Cancer Challenge to raise funds for research and the prevention of cancer and creating awareness of this global disease.”
“As non-golfers, we have not paid much attention in the past, but now, with several of us directly affected, we can truly recognise the Sanlam Cancer Challenge as an amazing project. We want to challenge every golfer in South Africa to play the sport they love while they support the Challenge and raise funds on a national scale to fight this global disease.”
Since its inception in 1993, the Sanlam Cancer Challenge has raised over R26 million for the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) to assist with research into the disease and the treatment thereof. Celebrating its 20th anniversary as South Africa’s biggest charitable sporting event this year, the Sanlam Cancer Challenge has earned a place in the South African Golf Hall of Fame.
“South Africa’s golfers are some of our strongest allies and supporters in the fight against cancer,” said Gary van Loggerenberg, Sanlam Sponsorship Manager. “It takes a lot of work to arrange the hundreds of club competitions around the country, and we are honoured to have the Spar Proteas team and management support us. The prevention and cure of cancer is a global fight and not just limited to the golfers of South Africa.
“For the past 20 years Sanlam, with the help of thousands of golfers around South Africa, has been proud to support CANSA. This is a tournament that enables club golfers anywhere in the country to do something positive and make a real impact through the game they love. With this being such a significant year for the Sanlam Cancer Challenge and for CANSA as an organisation, we’re hoping we can raise a record amount in 2012.”
Hundreds of golfers participated in the nationwide club competitions from March to July 2012 to qualify for the Regional Finals from August to September this year. The 2012 Sanlam Cancer Challenge will culminate in the National Finals at Sun City, and which is played on both the Gary Player Country Club and Lost City Golf Club courses in October.