Abu Dhabi Invitational aims to raise huge funds for charity

Joy Chakravarty 08:37 21/01/2015
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Star-studded: Rory McIlroy will make an appearance as the Abu Dhabi international returns to the Middle East golfing calendar.

The Abu Dhabi Invitational will make its much anticipated return to the Middle East golfing calendar at Yas Links on Sunday January 25, and as well as attracting a starstudded field that includes world No.1 Rory McIlroy and Ryder Cup stars Victor Dubuisson, Thomas Bjorn and Stephen Gallacher, a significant aspect of the tournament is the money it raises for good causes.

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At the centre of the charitable efforts is the Official Charity, the Rashid Centre for Disabled, a local organisation that provides quality education and therapy services to children with Special Needs.

The Rashid Centre will receive significant funds from the tournament in the spirit of the event’s fabulous charitable legacy in the UAE.

A quarter of the $500,000 prize fund will be awarded to the chosen charity of the winner, second, third and fourth places in the individual professional competition via the charitable foundation of the European Tour Players Foundation.

There is also the charity auction, which is always well supported by the professionals and the philanthropic amateurs who have travelled from across the globe to play in the event.

The funds raised will again benefit the Rashid Centre and the European Tour Players’ Foundation.

The tournament, which began in 2007 and was last held in 2012, has raised some $1.2 million, donated to charities based in the UAE and around the world. This year the target is to raise a total of $500,000.

GEMS Education are also playing their part in the overall experience of the Abu Dhabi Invitational, providing caddies, scoring officials, ball finders and marshals.

Jay Varkey, Group Executive Director, commented: “The Abu Dhabi Invitational is a unique event. There is nothing else like it in golf. I’ve been fortunate to play in the Invitational a number of times.

“Last year, we invited Rory McIlroy to GEMS to talk to around 50 students and give a clinic. The youngsters were captivated. It’s good when they can identify with their heroes and learn the benefits, sportsmanship, fair play, values and etiquette of playing golf.”

Abu Dhabi Sports Council are the Host Partners of the event, which is co-hosted by Abdullah Al Naboodah and Mohammed Farooq.

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