ISLAMABAD: Serena Hotels and Margalla Greens Golf Club hosted the closing ceremony of the ‘Tee to Triumph’ Golf Training Programme.

The inaugural two-week programme focused on training and mentoring girls and women between the ages of 10 and 22, to break the gender divide in golf and nurture future champions of the game.

It provided the participants with comprehensive golf coaching, mentorship and opportunities to showcase their talent on the golf course. Parents and golf enthusiasts joined the trainees at the closing ceremony to celebrate the step towards a more inclusive future in a sport that is inaccessible to many.

Veteran golf player Yasmeen Mubarik Ali Khan was the chief guest.

Mrs Khan has been playing golf since 1963, from the age of 13, and is a legendary name in the sport, having represented Pakistan internationally in Sri Lanka and once in Bangladesh.

“This is a very good thing. Serena has done a great job getting so many girls together for this camp. The girls are so happy to be here. In our time we did not have all this – my granddaughters and all these girls who have come here will play golf; they will practice and 10 or 15 of the 38 participants will come forward,” she said.

Margalla Green Golf Course Club Secretary Commodore Majid Satti talked about the importance of bringing golf into mainstream media as it required intensive training, making it difficult for talented players with limited access to the gaming facilities.

“These two weeks were really exciting, very colourful. All the girls made it every time, every day and we had divided them into three groups age-wise. They learnt golf from professional coaches and one important thing that came out was that these girls have a lot of potential and if we keep doing such activities these girls will showcase their talent all over the world,” Mr Satti said.

Mahnoor Omer, a law student, said: “I have had the most amazing two weeks here at this training programme. I am so grateful for this opportunity; As someone who has been trying to learn golf for a very, very long time, I would say I have learnt more in these two weeks than I have in the past one year in one-on-one classes. The whole programme was designed to be so much fun – we had art, we had yoga, teamwork was a big part of the classes and our safety and well-being was looked after.”

Iman Hammad, one of the youngest participants, said: “I have come here all the way from Jordan. I have been playing golf for a year now and this has been a very good experience. My swing is better than it was and I can hit longer shots.”

Speaking on the occasion, CEO of Serena Hotels Aziz Boolani said: “We believe that sports have the power to transcend boundaries and create positive change in society. Through this initiative, we aim to encourage young girls to pursue their passion for golf and develop valuable life skills such as perseverance, discipline, and teamwork.”

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2023

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