Chawrasia to open foundation for underprivileged golf enthusiasts

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Kolkata, March 3 (IANS) In a bid to help underprivileged children trying to make a name in golf, ace caddie-turned-golfer S.S.P. Chawrasia on Saturday said he is starting his foundation this month to ensure they get the support needed to back their skills.

“The foundation is registered now. After the Indian Open, I will make the underprivileged children associated with the club (Royal Calcutta Golf Club) play golf. I will start off with 10 children who will be a part of my foundation,” Chawrasia told reporters here.

The 39-year-old city-based golfer is leaving for Delhi on Sunday to take part in the 54th edition of the European and Asian Tour co-sanctioned Hero Indian Open starting March 8. Chawrasia is the defending champion and a two-time winner.

Chawrasia’s journey as one of the country’s leading golfers began from the secluded corner of a golf course reserved for caddies.

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Starting off by earning Rs 40 per round for lugging around the golf kit, the Arjuna award winner went on to win six Asian Tour events starting from 2008, and at the Indian Open will aim to ratchet up the first-ever hat trick of wins in the 54-year history of the tournament. Chawrasia won back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017.

“The players I have grown up with here, some have become caddies, some have passed away while some have become addicted to alcohol,” Chawrasia said after practice at the RCGC where he grew up.

“I want to rectify that. The urge to do this came from the heart. The kids will get every opportunity starting from coaching, then as the foundation grows and, hopefully, attract sponsors we will take care of their education also,” he said.

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The age group will be between 10-18 with four categories. While category A will be for boys below 18, The rest will follow likewise. A category D will also be there for children aged below 10. “The kids below 10 will not play golf, but will come and spend time with us at the club for overall development. The idea is to give it a holistic approach,” Chawrasia said.

Asked if the idea is inspired from Tiger Woods Foundation, Chawrasia said, “This Foundation is not inspired by the Tiger Woods Foundation. It’s just that one day I was sitting with two-three of my friends and they pushed me to go ahead with the idea.

“I have two trustees and they will devote more time in the foundation day-to-day affairs. We don’t have money to hire a coach at the moment but let’s see as we grow we will,” he added.

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Chawrasia also pitched for having public golf courses so that more players can come up and the enthusiasm surrounding the sport does not get restricted to those who can afford it.

“I want the government to take up the initiative and develop public golf courses. Not everyone can afford the fees of private courses. There is a lot of talent in India and the pool should increase once you give players a platform,” he said.

–IANS

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