The Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL) has today unveiled sponsors for the 2019 Kenya Open Golf Championship, as the event draws near, and preparations hit top gear. The Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Tourism as well as the Ministry of Sports, Barclays Bank of Kenya, Kenya Breweries Limited and Hemingways Hotel were unveiled as some of the confirmed sponsors as conclusion on other sponsorships come to a close.
While making the announcement, KOGL Chairman, Peter Kanyago, thanked the sponsors for their renewed support of the Kenya Open Golf Championship, noting that the change in sponsor categories was necessitated by the improved status of the tournament.
"I note with gratitude that the journey towards the promotion of the tournament to the European Tour could not have been possible without the support accorded to us by our sponsors over the years. And for that, we remain truly grateful.
Speaking at the same event Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Hon. Najib Balala expressed the Government's belief in the potential that the Kenya Open has in growing Kenya's Tourism.
"I am delighted to announce that the Ministry of Tourism, through the Kenya Tourism Board, will be sponsoring this year's Kenya Open Golf Championship. Through the sponsorship, we believe that the Kenya Open will prominently position Magical Kenya to the global audience through the TV broadcasting opportunities that comes with the new status," he said.
On his part, Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Sports and Heritage Amb. Kirimi Kaberia reiterated the Government's commitment in supporting the growth of Golf in the country.
"The Government remains committed towards the growth of the sport and last year's announcement by His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta on the intention to increase the Government's commitment to the Kenya Open from 1.1 Million Euros to 2.2 Million, was a clear indication of this commitment."
"I am delighted to note that this year's tournament will for the first time be played under the prestigious European Tour, after the increase in prize money. The promotion to the European tour is set to further strengthen the country's position as a global sporting giant."
Commenting on Barclays Bank's commitment to this year's Kenya Open, Barclays Bank of Kenya Chief Finance Officer, Yusuf Omari, said:
"Over the past 9 years, we have worked hand in hand with KOGL to grow the profile and stature of the Kenya Open and as we look back, we are proud to have played integral role in giving the tournament a global status, now part of the main European Tour. As we transition from Barclays to Absa, we are firmly committed to continue being a force for good in the society by supporting this tournament and other similar initiatives that have potential to unlock Kenya's social-economic possibilities. This year, with a significantly higher investment, Absa Group is honoured to be playing a big role in showcasing Kenya and Africa to the world through the Kenya Open."
While commenting on the tournament preparations, Kenya Open Tournament director Mr. Patrick Obath noted that the course at the Karen Country Club will be re-arranged to cater for both players and spectators.
"The course at Karen is going to be played in a different way to allow more room for spectators movement as well as the seating infrastructure that is going to be set up. The current 13th hole will be the first tee. Players will then play the 14th through the 18th holes, then go back to the 10th, 11th and the 12th for the first nine. They will then cross over to the first tee and play it the normal way," he said.
Commenting on details of sponsorships, Chairman Kanyago said:
"Details of each of the above-mentioned sponsorships will be made known soon by the respective sponsors and partners during cheque-handover occasions. Meanwhile, we are also in the final stages of finalizing agreements with a number of other sponsors and partners whose announcement will be made soon."