26 February, 2020
“I would like to thank ESRIC for the belief and faith they’ve shown in me. I also appreciate all that the organization does for golf in the country and I promise to work hard and to make the brand and the country proud.”
These were the words of professional Eswatini golfer James ‘Jamie’ Pennington on the unveiling his ESRIC sponsorship during the ESRIC Royal Swazi Spa Golf Business League.
James Pennington started playing professional golf in January 2018 and as he related his experience thus far, the life of a professional tour player can often be challenging. First, the travelling and accommodation are expensive. Professional golf tournaments, under the Sunshine Tour, of which James is a part, take place in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, and in the 9 provinces of South Africa. The expectation is that the golfer will participate in most of not all these tournaments. Before the actual tournaments, there are pre-qualification games that must be played to progress to the next round.
In addition to that, the player has to fork out money for tournament registrations, membership fees and is expected to pay those that assist him like the caddies and coaches. It is impossible for a golfer to focus solely on their golf and to give it their all without the certainty that these expenses are taken care of. Most of young players like ‘Jamie’, who are without the necessary support end up quitting professional golf.
On behalf of ESRIC, Assistant General Manager – Corporate Service, Mandla Dlamini remarked that the organization is aware of the challenges up and coming golf players face as they try to make ends meet and ESRIC saw it necessary to support Mr Pennington. He further implored other organizations to follow suit as the support given to young golfers can never be more than enough.
The value of the sponsorship is E150, 000 for the year 2020 and consequently, James Pennington shall assume the role of ESRIC brand ambassador for the duration of this agreement.