By Bejay Browne
GREECE has confirmed a team of junior golfers will take part in the islands first open international competition to be held in Paphos this weekend.
The competition will also be attended by a high ranking official, Alison White, Assistant Director for Golf Development at the R&A -the world governing body for golf.
A team of at least 14 players from Greece will be in Cyprus to compete against junior golfers of many different nationalities. Young players from Greece first visited the island last September to compete in the first International junior match and strong friendships were formed.
The upcoming “Severis Junior Open” will see over 75 youngsters of varying ages and nationalities compete in five separate categories over, according to Cyprus Golf Federation’s director of junior golf, Terry Scott.
“Many different nationalities are taking part, some of them live in Cyprus, but it’s an open competition and youngsters from abroad are invited to take part. We are constantly trying to educate Cyprus about golf and this is part of a long term plan to promote the sport here in Cyprus, especially to the young.”
This is the first time that a junior open competition has been held in Cyprus.
Maria Severis is sponsoring the event, which allows for all different age groups to take part, as a tribute to her late husband, Nicos Severis, a past president of the CGF. In addition, Scott said that the Secret Valley golf course where the two day event is being held, have donated the course for free.
The “Severis Junior Open” will see children as young as four competing for the ‘Tiny Tots’ cup by playing three holes. Many of the children will play 36 holes over two days, with an entire day’s golf taking place on Sunday from 7.30am.
“One of the four year olds playing is so good. We can teach from this age, but it depends on the individual child. We assess their concentration levels and if they can behave safely. In some children, this is around 6 or 7 years,” said Scott.
At least 14 players from Cyprus, aged between 10-14 years, will compete. Successful players of each of the five categories will be presented with a winner’s trophy cup.
Scott, who has been working with juniors in Cyprus for the last decade, said he first became interested in bringing the sport to junior players as it promotes good behaviour and sportsmanship, as well as good manners and etiquette and is character building.
“Golf promotes everything we could want for our kids and we pride ourselves in being our own referees.”
Vast improvements have been made by junior players over the last two or three years and they are now the best that Cyprus has ever had, Scott said. Cyprus National Junior Team secured a narrow win over Greece in the first international junior golf match held in Paphos last September.
At least 20 of the juniors are heading towards single figure handicaps and there are a number of great players-one has a golf handicap of 4.5.
“We are always trying to break new ground and have never had a 36-hole open competition over two days, we are looking forward to it.”
The “Severis Junior Open” will be held at Secret Valley on Saturday and Sunday.
For further information contact Terry Scott on 99 382561, www.cgf.org.cy, www.juniors.cgf.org.cy, www.facebook.com/CyprusGolfFederation