A touch of spice was added to the SPAR Eastern Cape Charity Golf Day when supplier and service provider four-balls represented the beneficiaries in the alliance competition in Gqeberha on Thursday.
Teams were divided into three groups of 10, each allocated to a beneficiary, where R30 per point scored translated into funds for the “adopted” charity.
United Through Sport, Yokhuselo Haven and PE Mental Health – all of which are involved in the drive against gender-based violence – were the three new beneficiaries invited to the fundraiser at the PE Golf Club.
When the final putt had been sunk, it turned out to be remarkably close, with PE Mental Health earning 1 002 points, one ahead of Yokhuselo Haven, with United Through Sport on 982.
Suppliers contributed about R30 000 to each charity with SPAR EC topping up their purses to the tune of R40 000 in recognition of their work in the metro.
Sponsorships and events manager Alan Stapleton acknowledged the support from suppliers and retailers.
“There’s an amazing appetite to support events like these. It’s wonderful that SPAR Eastern Cape can take the lead in getting people together.
“A massive thank you to our suppliers and 18 retailers involved today. If we continue to create relationships between the distribution centre, suppliers and retailers, our business can reach new heights.”
He also took the opportunity to congratulate rising Gqeberha star Kyle de Beer.
“In a very special moment, Kyle de Beer won the SA Amateur championship last weekend and we feel we sometimes don’t celebrate our heroes enough,” said Stapleton.
“Kyle, we take our hats off to you and thank you for flying the Eastern Cape and Gqeberha flags high.”
United Through Sport CEO Di Luden, whose organisation was established 16 years ago under director Nick Mould, explained that they had traditionally relied on international funding.
“We are so happy because we are trying actively to engage with local corporates as all our work is done in this region.”
She added that they reached out to children through sport and developing them holistically, starting with reading to improve literacy.
“At the age of five, 60 per cent of children in SA can’t read properly so we have developed one-on-one literacy lessons to put them on a better footing.”
Luden said funds from the golf day would go to the Unite programme for girls and boys.
“The girls learn about their trust circle, who they are and to respect themselves, while the boys learn about anger management and having respect for girls.
“We also cover critical issues such as sexual health and gender-based violence.”
Miranda Paulsen, chairperson of the management committee at Yokhuselo Haven, said it was “huge” to be part of the golf day.
“These are essential funds we can put to good use, particularly for skills development of those in our care. We shelter anyone who suffers abuse and provide counselling and further assistance to ensure they are safe.”
PE Mental Health director Limeez Botha said the money would be applied to the Rise Project.
“This came about during Covid in 2020 when we found that the suicide rate among young people increased from one to three in five.
“We go to schools to provide support for young people, teaching them how to deal with the pandemic and any resultant trauma.”
Botha explained that they had also established peer networks.
“We can’t be at the schools all the time, so we have taught young people how to assist others in times of need.”
It was a day of fun, especially with the weather playing ball after the event had experienced some trying conditions in recent years.
In addition, those who may have a penchant for taking up the game were given a taste of what it’s like to try to control a golf ball as coaches from PEGC took them through various routines – all of which added to the camaraderie and networking opportunities offered by the day.
It was a continuation of a theme SPAR EC introduced several years ago to widen the appeal of the event and to include those who may find a full round of 18 holes a little daunting.