Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Golden act for IBF's prized medal
Two enormous acts of golfing good will stand to hugely benefit two Australian charities and the sport itself

Ian Baker-Finch
Ian Baker-Finch gets his hands on the prized Claret Jug at Royal Birkdale in 1991.

Former Open Championship winner Ian Baker-Finch has given the Gold Medal he won at Royal Birkdale to the R and A in exchange for money he has in turn donated to three great causes.
Baker-Finch’s 1991 medal will be showcased alongside other prestigious memorabilia from the 10 Championships that have been played at the course he conquered, Royal Birkdale.
The R and A gave $US50,000 to the Queenslander who then topped up that figure so that he could give $25,000 each to Challenge and Redkite in Australia. He also gave $15,000 to the Golf Foundation in the UK to support its "Girls Golf Rocks" participation program.
“Many of my charitable activities have focused upon improving the lives of young people and particularly those who are undergoing care and treatment for cancer-related illnesses in Australia,” Baker-Finch said.
“These charities are very close to my heart and I know these funds will make a real difference to the lives of young people and their families.
"I would like to thank the R and A for its generosity in helping to support these initiatives.”
R and A chief executive Martin Slumbers was only too happy to support the Australia's generosity.
“One of Ian’s most enduring qualities is his unstinting acts of kindness and we were delighted to support these charitable activities which clearly mean a lot to him," Slumbers said.
“His memorable victory at Royal Birkdale remains one of the great stories in the cherished history of The Open and it is entirely fitting that his Gold Medal should be displayed at the club where he lifted the famous Claret Jug.”
Challenge is a Melbourne-based charity which provides support services to young people diagnosed with cancer and their families and has been in operation since 1983. It opened the Challenge Family Centre in 2011 to complement its existing support.
Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle, a close friend of Baker-Finch who passed away earlier this year after a third fight with leukemia, was an ambassador for Challenge and supported its work for many years.
Redkite was founded as The Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for Children in Australia in 1983 and provides essential support to children, teenagers and young adults with cancer to ensure the best possible quality of life for them and their families.
The Girls Golf Rocks program provides taster sessions, weekly coaching and opportunities to play at par-three courses in the UK.
Youngsters participating in Girls Golf Rocks will receive a 7-Iron for completing a six-week block of activity.



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