Page 22 - GBC Eng winter 2021
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Grandview has one of the largest Black memberships in Canada! This was the start of a great partner- ship between the community and our course, and out of this came the Black Lives Matter Golf (BLMGolf) Initiative which started in 2020.
The BLMGolf started in early 2020 when PGA of Canada Members, James Rayner and I, were approached by a few of our members asking us about starting this program within our communi- ty. 2020 was a difficult year for the Black community, and for all of us as human beings, as we witnessed the brutal killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and many others which reignited the Black Lives Matter movement globally.
Eaglequest Golf and Grandview wanted to do something to address this social injustice, and this was our chance to break through and help remove some of these barriers. So, when Doug Hill, Darren Tolliv- er, Channing Colley, and Duan Ash came to us with this idea for BLMGolf they gained full support not only from us, but from Eagel- quest as a whole with a strong backing from our owner who told us to take it to the next level.
We quickly formed a Black Lives Matter Golf committee with Doug, Channing, Duan and Darren who developed a very simple mission statement and goal. This was our mission statement:
•BLMGolf will bring awareness about anti-Black racism in society as well as the game of golf.
• BLMGolfwillbreakdowneconom- ic and social barriers to create a more inclusive golf environment for Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC).
• BLMGolf will create a junior program designed to welcome underprivileged youth as well as other new golfers into the game golf.
•BLMGolf is a not-for-profit association open to men and women of all ages.
• BLMGolf will partner with other socially conscious organizations who are also interested in issues of anti-Black racism and oppres- sion towards BIPOC.
•BLMGolf will collaborate with Grandview, Nova Scotia Golf Association (NSGA) and Golf Canada to create a more inclu- sive game of golf in Canada.
•BLMGolf will raise funds to support the annual BLMGolf Scholarship Fund for BIPOC youth.
The key to the mission was to remove all barriers that exist which include travel, equipment, cloth- ing, and all costs associated which would restrict involvement and participation. Although this was a huge challenge and cost, we had the support come forward from so many people and organizations and without them none of this would have been possible.
Grandview hosted the inaugural BLMGolf event which consisted of 12 mentors and 12 mentees in August of 2020 and was a fantas- tic start to this initiative. We had the much-needed support of the NGCOA Canada, Nova Scotia Golf Association, Sport Nova Scotia and the PGA of Canada Atlantic, all of whom stepped up to the plate with their endorsement support and time. When sponsors were needed, Nawaz Hirji and Eaglequest Golf weren’t hesitant in becoming the lead sponsor of the event and donated a cheque to the BLMGolf program in the amount of $3,000 to go directly to an education fund to send a local kid to school.
“I cannot think of a better way to get more involved in our surrounding community than an annual Initiative such as the BLMGolf Event,” says Nawaz Hirji, President & Owner of Eagle- quest Golf Inc.
The lead partner was Golf Canada and the Nova Scotia Golf Association with thanks to Jason Lohnes. Some of the Sponsors included companies like Canadi- an Tire, Weed Man, Dormie Golf, Emera, Sobeys, TaylorMade and Cabot Cape Breton. Thanks to all the sponsors, our second annual event in August 2021 increased to
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