Mission Hills Group in China has announced The R&A will provide funding towards a new golf scholarship programme being set up at the world’s largest golf facility.
The scholarships at Mission Hills will support talented young Chinese golfers by providing financial grants towards their golf training and competition.
Tenniel Chu, Vice-Chairman of Mission Hills Group, was joined by Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, for the announcement at Mission Hills Shenzhen in southern China – one of two Mission Hills resorts spanning 40 square kilometres and 22 golf courses.
Also present was Edmund Chu, Managing Director of SECA. SECA, China’s fastest-growing sports management company, will partner with Mission Hills to underwrite the new scholarship initiative.
The announcement took place after a keynote address by Mr Slumbers to more than 200 delegates at Sports Connects, the China Sports Forum.
Tenniel Chu, Mission Hills Group Vice-Chairman, said: “Since my late father founded Mission Hills 25 years ago, my family has been fully committed to growing golf in China. We have invested millions of dollars into youth development and more than 100,000 competitive rounds have been played by junior golfers at Mission Hills.
“This announcement is another exciting chapter in our long relationship with The R&A, dating back to when Mission Hills hosted the first Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in 2009. The R&A’s commitment to growing the game in China has been unwavering throughout.”
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “This Golf Scholarship Programme is an important step forward in supporting young people in China, in both golf and personal development. The outcomes of initiatives like this will underpin The R&A’s purpose, to ensure golf is thriving 50 years from now.”
Edmund Chu, Managing Director of SECA, said: “Given our work with several Chinese athletes and China sports events, and our long-term friendship with Mission Hills, SECA is committed to supporting the next generation of sporting talent in China.
As the global governing body for golf, The R&A’s endorsement and support of our scholarship programme is significant and will hopefully allow us to unearth the next Feng Shanshan or Li Haotong, and potentially a future Open champion.”
Underwritten by Mission Hills and SECA, the Golf Scholarship Programme at Mission Hills will aim to support talented Chinese golfers aged 18 and under – boys and girls – with financial grants towards their training and competition and potentially their education.
The application process and further details on the programme will be announced in the coming weeks with the aim of taking in students from early next year.
Later in 2019, the programme will be expanded to support students in other sports, including basketball and football in conjunction with FC Barcelona and the NBA, both of whom announced strategic partnerships with Mission Hills in 2017.