In a dazzling showcase of promising talent and a commitment to sustainability, the AFRIYEA Golf Academy at Toro Club hosted the inaugural Sustainability Junior Open 2024. Taking place on a sunny Friday, January 5th, this unique golf event saw a significant turnout of enthusiastic holiday students, eager to partake in an innovative blend of sport and environmental awareness in Fort Portal.
Setting itself apart from traditional tournaments, the Sustainability Junior Open kicked off in the early hours of the day with a powerful focus on environmental education and a call to action for participants and coaches alike in keeping the surroundings clean and safe for the environment.
Isaiah Mwesige, the CEO of AFRIYEA Golf Academy, said that there is no better time to use golf for positive change than now when the world is faced with climate change issues. Golf is a powerful sport that is good for effecting positive change in communities, and we are proud to be doing our part as an academy from the grassroots to lead efforts in using golf for social transformation. Golf teaches good values of integrity, honesty, sportsmanship, and inclusion, and it is an ideal sport to teach sustainability since the golf courses themselves serve as havens for biodiversity, water conservation, and tree preservation. Our generation has no option but to do everything within our means to jealously guard our natural world from plastics, pesticides, and other harmful elements. We strive to teach the children in our academy to not only become skilled golfers but also to be stewards of environmental protection.
Patrick Baguma, the Chief Guest and Chairman Emeritus of Toro Club, as well as a Founder of the longest-serving environmental organization in the Rwenzori region, applauded the efforts of the academy and Toro Club for working collaboratively to create a new generation of talented golfers to replace the aging players.
Victor Kalenzi, the proprietor of FINS MEDICAL UNIVERSITY, expressed pride in supporting this endeavor to shape young individuals and introduce positive competition among them, who will go on to become the new stars in both golf and business. Golf offers children the chance to discover their abilities, and the game teaches accountability, planning, and creativity.
Peace Kabasweka, the Lady Captain at Toro Club, hailed the partnership with the AFRIYEA Golf Academy as a significant step forward, bringing young people into the sport. She expressed great joy in seeing all these young boys and girls in holidays playing and competing in various events, indicating a bright future not only for the club but also for the nation.
This Sustainability Junior Golf event for children underscores the mission of the AFRIYEA Golf Academy, which aims to instill ecological responsibility and sustainable practices at a young age, using golf as a medium.
With exceptional enthusiasm, both girls and boys of various age groups eagerly took to the course, showcasing their burgeoning golf skills and embodying the values of inclusivity and empowerment. Notably, the participants ranged from a delightful 4-year-old girl, exhibiting extraordinary poise and potential, to an impressive 16-year-old, demonstrating the experience and finesse synonymous with seasoned athletes. The palpable camaraderie and spirited competition fostered an atmosphere teeming with excitement and optimism.
Among the exceptional array of competitors, it was 16-year-old prodigy Justus Byaruhanga who emerged as the shining star of the day. With an unparalleled display of technique, skill, and unwavering focus, Byaruhanga masterfully navigated the challenging course, captivating both spectators and fellow participants. The sheer determination etched onto his face served as a testament to his passion for the sport and his unyielding dedication to personal growth.
Byaruhanga’s incredible achievement not only earned him the well-deserved title of champion but also symbolized the immense potential and promise that lies within the younger generation. Beyond solely celebrating his individual accomplishment, his triumph exemplified the strides Uganda is making to foster a culture of sustainability and athletic excellence.
The Sustainability Junior Open 2024 not only provided a platform for budding golfers to showcase their talent but also served as a crucial reminder of the significance of protecting and preserving the environment. Through this pioneering event, the AFRIYEA Golf Academy and Toro Club have set a formidable precedent, demonstrating the rewarding combination of sport, environmental consciousness, and community engagement.
WINNER: JUSTUS BYARUHANGA 78
RUNNER UP: EDWARD RUBOGONYA 79
WINNER: RACHEAL NATUKUNDA 79
RUNNER UP: ESTHER KEMIGISA 84
BOYS 11-13 YEARS
WINNER: THADDEUS BYARUHUNGA
1ST R/UP: ARTHUR AGUMA
2rd R/UP: Kalenzi Polistar
3rd R/UP: ABRAHAM KAIHURA
BOYS 9-12 YEARS
WINNER: MUHAIRWA SCOTT
RUNNER UP: MARK RUBUBI
WINNER: JOYCE KABAJUMA
RUNNER UP: HANNAR KARUNGI
5 – 6 YEARS
WINNERS: NATHAN MUSONI
RUNNER UP: MORRIS AYEBALE
BEST UPCOMING GOLFER
WINNER: MAILKA TENDO