Kigali’s new 18-hole golf course will host its first major tournament dubbed CIMEGOLF 2021- the first it has hosted since its launch in August this year and it is expected to bring together over 330 players from Rwanda, the region and beyond.
As events start to come back on a bigger scale across the country, the annual golf tournament sponsored by cement manufacturer CIMERWA will also return, in its 4th edition, having not taken place in 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The tourney will feature different golfers including captains of
industries, business leaders and entrepreneurs who will play for a good cause.
The proceeds of the tournament will go towards the Caddie’s Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation bringing together people who serve at the course as caddies for pro and non-professional players.
According to Mark Mugarura, the Marketing Manager of CIMERWA, the tournament which will run for two days, from December 3 to 4, 2021, will be one of a kind after a one year hiatus, returning on a PGA-standard golf course, which will give players a whole new experience.
“We are delighted to host the CIMEGOLF 2021 tournament at Kigali’s new 18-hole golf course, which makes the 4th edition of the tournament special, especially considering that last year we didn’t have one due to COVID 19,”
“Golf supporters like myself have been waiting for over a year amidst course renovations and COVID-19 related restrictions to be able to participate in a full-blown tournament. As CIMERWA we are proud to be the first to bring that experience back. CIMEGOLF ’21 will be a novelty for players, they will get to showcase their skills on a brand-new course with PGA standards and this will take their experience to the next level,” Mugarura said on Tuesday during a press conference to announce the tournament.
Launched back in 2017, the tournament has grown over the years, with the last edition held in 2019 attracting over 130 local and international players. Andrew Kulayije, the captain of the tournament, said that players will enjoy a first hand experience at the course while those who will follow it on different platforms will also learn a thing or two about the game.
“We want all Rwandans and visitors to get to know the game and enjoy it and also demystify the perception that golf is for a certain group of people. We want to take this experience to the people, starting with the caddies who were the first to play in their own tournament, so that they can also experience the game,” Kulayije said.
Alain Ngirinshuti, the chairman of Rwanda Ultimate Golf Company- UGOLF, the company that manages the Kigali Golf Resort and Villas, said that hosting the CIMEGOLF 2021 tournament will open doors for more tournaments, including international ones in the coming years.
“The Government of Rwanda, through Rwanda Social Security Board, invested in this course to position Rwanda among countries that can host PGA standard tournaments. This facility, among others, is in line with the government vision of making Rwanda a sports tourism hub,”
“We look forward to hosting more tournaments like this one and we hope the rest of the world can see that we are ready for business. There are more investments and renovations going on, which include setting up a 5-star hotel at the course, which we believe will add value to the course,” said Ngirinshuti.
The Kigali Golf Course was closed in 2019 for renovations and it opened its doors earlier this year as a PGA-standard golf course –this ultimately means that it can host international golfing competitions.
The CIMEGOLF week kicked off with a caddies competition in which over 80 caddies participated. Organisers say players are sure to experience more than just the game during this year’s CIMEGOLF as it will be a great opportunity to network off course with the 330 players participating.
Outstanding golfers in every handicap category and caddies will be awarded with an array of prizes including trophies, trolleys, duffel bags, golf bags, drivers and putters during a glamorous gala that will end this year’s tournament. Mugarura said CIMERWA is looking forward to supporting the golf sport and the golf fraternity in order to grow the game in Rwanda.
“Rwanda is perfectly positioned to become the next hub for sports tourism in the region. As CIMERWA, we believe in this vision and we will do what we can to strengthen it and make it a reality,” Mugarura said.
With Rwanda’s latest COVID-19 regulations requiring social function attendees to be fully vaccinated and tested for COVID-19, the organisers have taken the required precautions to ensure the safety of everyone and CIMEGOLF 2021 will be proof that with the right measures in place, events can be held in all safety.
“We will ensure the safety of everyone during the tournament. Mandatory testing will be done prior to the start of the tournament and vaccination requirements will be checked, in line with the Government of Rwanda guidelines and preventive measures to curb Covid-19. We want to commend the government for its vision in developing the sports sector and this tournament will be testimony that the efforts are paying off,” said Kulayije.
The tournament is spread over two days to ensure that all players get their opportunity to experience the course.