Saint Andrew’s International Primary School (Saips) on Friday won the first round of the Alliance Capital Limited Southern Region Inter-Schools Golf Challenge at Blantyre Sports Club which attracted a record six teams.
Inspired by their 11-year-old captain Carlo Van der Walt, who set up an exhibition of his magical skills on the course, Saips carried the day with 96 strokes, way above runners-up Royal Heritage International Primary School who had 119 strokes while Hillview International Primary School were third with 124 strokes.
Hillview pipped fourth-placed Phoenix International Primary School by a stroke. And for the first time, the tournament featured a public school—Namiwawa Primary School—who were fifth with 136 strokes while South End International Primary School were sixth with 150 strokes.
Twenty-four handicapped Van der Walt attributed his team’s success to team spirit, saying: “We had confidence and I told the guys to be relaxed and not to stress and I guess that did the trick.”
Alliance Capital marketing executive Rihanna Rice said they were impressed with the organisation as well as the inclusion of a public school.
“The development has been good, the skills and talents are getting better. For us, we believe that the future of golf lies in these youngsters and we would like to see them develop into professional golfers in the mould of Tiger Woods.
“One of our corporate social responsibilities is sports and that is why we sponsor the schools tournaments,” she said.
Rice also thanked Golf Union of Malawi (GUoM), participating schools, the Southern Region Junior Golf Development Committee and parents for making the tournament a success.
Coordinator of the tournament, Dingaan Chirwa, who is also national youth team coach, said the tournament is meeting its objectives.
“We are on track, the performance and the scores are getting better and better. We also had six teams which was a record, including a public school,” he said.
Chirwa also thanked Alliance Capital for the sponsorship which is in its third of the five-year deal.
The combined Central and Northern region qualifiers are slated for this coming weekend at Lilongwe Golf Club.
Alliance Capital provides portfolio and investment management services for individual, corporate and institutional clients. Rice said their main investment philosophy aims at long-term accumulation of wealth.