THE Papua New Guinea Golf Association (PNGGA) has received K200,000 (A$91,200) to help develop the country’s next generation of golfing champions

Thanks to the Bank South Pacific (BSP) Junior Development program, talented young golfers nationwide will be given the opportunity to progress from amateur to professional level.

According to PNGGA president Stan Walker, they are looking to build on the successful of 2013 where junior golf saw an increase in the number of participants.

“Through this funding last year, our young golfers were given the opportunity to improve their level of play with the highlight being the 2013 BSP junior Pro Am which gave our juniors the chance to play alongside overseas golf professionals prior to the 2013 PNG Golf Open,” he said.

“We anticipate this increase in numbers to continue this year through our new Go Green – Love my Golf Course initiative.”

Mr Walker said the initiative would promote a clean and healthy playground, and would help the sport prepare for the 2015 Pacific Games, where golf will be played.

BSP human resource general manager Giau Duruba, who presented the banks sponsorship, said supporting the junior golf development program was in line with its corporate social responsibility in nurturing and providing opportunities for talented children and young people.

“This is the second year of our journey together in our Golf for Gold aspirations and BSP is committed to making the dream of Golfing Gold in 2015 a reality,” Mr Duruba said.

“BSP’s focus is on the children and youth of our country, and the Pacific. They are our future and we must give them hope, health and opportunity.”

BSP, which is also the official sponsor of the 2015 Pacific Games, supports various other junior development programs including the BSP School Kriket program.

The bank’s Kriket program achieved a record breaking participation rate of 171,500 children from 297 schools across PNG.

Dubbed the most successful in the Asia Pacific Region, BSP School Kriket 2014 got off to a flying start in February, with BSP and Cricket PNG conducting lessons with budding young cricketers after the launch at the Hohola Demonstration School in Port Moresby.

Over the coming months, BSP will focus on strengthening existing programs in the 10 provinces it has established and also focus on its expansion.

This year, the BSP School Kriket program has been altered to meet the needs of the children by introducing the BSP School Kriket Blast. The Blast is an interschool soft-ball competition played among the schools which have participated in the BSP School Kriket program