NAIROBI, Kenya, March 16 – Barclays Bank of Kenya will next week host celebrated African football legend Jay Jay Okocha for the 49th edition of the Barclays Kenya Open Golf Tournament.
The retired Nigerian star, best known for his skills on the football pitch, will be swapping his boots for clubs to play at the Barclays Pro-Am which will take place on Wednesday, March 22 at the Muthaiga Golf Club.
The Pro-Am, which has traditionally acted as the curtain raiser to the Open, is aimed at giving Kenyan amateurs an opportunity to play with, and learn from the best in the sport from all over the globe. This year’s Barclays Kenya Open tees off on Thursday, March 23 and culminates on Sunday March 26.
“We are excited to be hosting Jay Jay Okocha at this year’s Barclays Kenya Open. His legendary status transcends football and we hope that his participation in this tournament will excite a section of his fan base to take an interest in golf,” said Caroline Ndungu, Director, Marketing and Corporate Relations, Barclays bank of Kenya.
A total of 156 golfers drawn from across the globe will battle it out for a total prize money of Sh24.3m (220,000 Euros) with the winner taking home Sh3.5m (32,000 Euros).
Kenya will be represented by a contingent of 22 professionals and four amateurs with Kenya’s hopes being carried by among others, Stefan Anderson, Greg Snow, Dismas Indiza and Brian Njoroge.
Barclays first sponsored the tournament in 2011 to mark its 95th anniversary and then became title sponsor a year later in a four year deal. This year’s sponsorship is part of a three year extension that was made by the bank last year as part of its centennial celebrations making Barclays one of the tournament’s longest running title sponsors.
“For the last 100 years, we have been an integral part of the Kenyan social and economic fabric, contributing to multiple aspects of this country’s development. As such, our legacy is greatly intertwined with Kenya’s rich heritage and, by the same token, our future is interwoven with that of Kenya,” She said.
“This understanding, that when Kenya prospers, we also prosper, is the foundation of our Shared Growth Agenda upon which our sponsorship of the Barclays Kenya Open is anchored.”
Besides golf, Okocha will share career tips with university students under the Barclays Ready to Work programme and get to interact with customers during his stay. He lands on the 21st for a five day visit.