Schools can win a visit from Des Smith and the Irish Open trophy

Wednesday, 16th March, 2016 12:33pm

Schools can win a visit from Des Smith and the Irish Open trophy

The children of Straffan National School joined (l-r) Tom Walsh of Waterford Crystal, Dubai Duty Free Golf Ambassador Des Smyth, Antonia Beggs from The European Tour and Brian McIlroy of the Rory Foundation to launch the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour.

FOLLOWING the huge success of last year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour, schoolchildren throughout Ireland are once again being invited to create history for their school as part of a nationwide competition organised by The European Tour and the Rory Foundation.

Supported by the Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI), the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour competition will give four lucky pupils across the island of Ireland a chance to win an historic opportunity for their schools to host a visit from the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy which is currently in the possession of defending championSøren Kjeldsen.

To enter the competition, children between the ages of nine and 15 are being invited to tell The European Tour why their class or school deserves a visit from the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy.

Not only will the winning pupils have a chance to get their hands on the prestigious trophy, they will also receive a host of other unique ‘money can’t buy’ prizes for themselves and their schoolmates.

These include a Q&A session with representatives of The European Tour and Rory Foundation and an insight into the life of a professional golfer from Ireland’s Dubai Duty Free golf ambassador Des Smyth, eight-time winner on the European Tour, who played in two Ryder Cups in 1979 and 1981 and was a vice-captain of Europe’s victorious 2006 and 2014 Ryder Cup teams.

Each winning pupil’s class will also receive tickets to go to the Pro-Am event on Wednesday May 18 while the overall winning pupil will receive family tickets for the Pro-Am and a VIP tour with a chance to meet some of the world’s top golfers.

And if that isn’t enough, the four winning schools will also enjoy a fun introduction to golf through the CGI’s ‘Golf Awareness Clinic’ which will give children a fun introduction to the sport through a variety of golf-related games including putting games and hitting real golf balls into a blow up net, and virtual golf on the Wii console.

To enter, schoolchildren aged 9-15 should simply send an email to outlining in no more than 250 words why their class or school deserves to win this unique and historic prize – clearly stating their name, age, address and school. Closing date for entries is April 17 with the prize to be taken between April 25 and May 13.

“Last year we were overwhelmed with the quantity and quality of entries we received for our Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour competition,” said Antonia Beggs of The European Tour. “We received hundreds of letters from kids throughout the island of Ireland telling us why they deserve to win this historic prize and we are delighted to be in a position to run the competition again this year.

“It is such a wonderful way for schools to get involved with such a big sporting event that attracts so many high-profile professional golfers and worldwide interest,” she added.

“We’re incredibly lucky that, as one of the best golfers on the planet, our tournament host Rory McIlroy is an inspiration for all children to be as good as they can in whatever they choose to be. This is a very strong message that we want to convey to children with our Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour Competition.

“Follow your dreams, work hard and you can achieve great things!” concluded Antonia.

Brian McIlroy of the Rory Foundation said: “The Trophy Tour was a huge part of the 2015 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open for us and something that Rory McIlroy himself was really delighted to get behind.

“Rory is extremely proud of where he comes from and it’s important for him to be as good an ambassador as he can for Ireland, north and south. In addition, his commitment to helping children all over the world through the Rory Foundation is a real passion and one he feels very strongly about.

“So it was fantastic, through last year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Trophy Tour entries, to hear how Rory has inspired so many young people across the country to be the best that they can be – not just in the golfing arena but in other areas of life as well.

“We immensely enjoyed our visits to last year’s winning schools and we are all thrilled once again to be able to engage with schoolchildren throughout Ireland to stimulate pride in their class, school, where they’re from, and their own achievements – while at the same time encouraging the game of golf and a passion for sport in general.

“We really want to hear their stories and what makes themselves, their school or regions so special,” added Brian.

As well as offering schools the chance to make history at their school by hosting the Trophy Tour, there are plenty of other reasons why this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is already making history, including an Irish Open record prize fund of €4 million which is sure to attract some of golf’s most exciting players.

In addition, having officially hosted a sell-out Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down last year, 2016 is the first year that Rory will be hosting a tournament south of the border, through his charity the Rory Foundation. A portion of all tickets sales this year will go towards the Foundation which was established by McIlroy in 2013 to help children live better lives by raising funds and offering support to children’s charities around the world.

This year will also be the first time that The K Club will host Ireland’s national Open, fittingly on the 10th anniversary of the course hosting Europe’s memorable victory over the USA in the 2006 Ryder Cup. The K Club also celebrates its 25h birthday this year.

For more information on the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation or to purchase tickets

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open 2016 is also supported by the Irish Government under the auspices of the Fáilte Ireland and Sport Ireland.

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