In what sport can Fiji claim more titles than New Zealand?
In what sport will you see men and women, and people from 3 generations playing together?
The answer to all of these questions is the same: GOLF.
And 2014 marks an exciting year for Fiji, as we host out first ever Fiji International Golf Tournament from August 14-17th as part of the PGA Australasia Tour.
Rotarian Raman Dahia is one of the men with the vision and determination to make this landmark event happen. This week he spoke to Rotary Club of Suva East about the upcoming tournament and the different event packages available to spectators and amateur players.
People used to say that Fiji was to small for the PGA tour, but with the draw of the scenic Natadola course and Vijay Singh’s stamp of approval, Raman and his partners were able to negotiate to get PGA Australasia, OneAsia, and Sports Entertainment Ltd. (SEL) Australia onboard. More than 120 players will be traveling to Fiji for this event, which will be broadcast all over the world.
Throughout the week, lunches, brunches, and dinners in locations around the Natadola course will provide opportunity for spectators to enjoy the tournament offerings. Fiji International is also looking for 300 volunteers during the week to serve as course marshals, food and drink operators, shuttle drivers, and score recorders among others.
According to Raman, PGA golf tourism is valued at over US $20 Billion. The companies invested in and running the event have years of experience- for them, this is just a new venue. At present, reps from OneAsia, PGA, and SEL are already preparing the course, bringing in kilometers of rope necessary to rope off the course for spectators.
Fiji Government has supported the event this year and has signed on for the next 5 years, as have many corporate sponsors. The Naming Rights to future tournaments will be available to Fiji-based companies first.
For Raman, this represents the realisation of a childhood dream. When he was a secondary student at Marist, Raman and his friend envisioned bringing professional golf to Fiji. Not put off by the nay-sayers, they’ve put in the hard yards to make this happen. Big congratulations go to Raman and RCSE cannot wait to celebrate with you in August!