With The 2009 Solheim Cup just around the corner, the atmosphere surrounding the prestigious event is one of anticipation, especially for the 29 selected Standard Bearers! Participants represent both the Kids Golf Foundation and the Illinois Junior Golf Association (IJGA). Site Coordinators nominated program participants who they felt most exemplified their organization and the Kids Golf Foundation’s mission. The IJGA selected deserving candidates from their membership, as well.
“I can’t imagine a better way for the Illinois Junior Golf Association and Kids Golf Foundation juniors to witness firsthand the qualities of poise, integrity, leadership and sportsmanship than by observing The Solheim Cup athletes from inside the ropes during one of golf’s most prestigious international events,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois Junior Golf Association.
The Kids Golf Foundation has several responsibilities for The 2009 Solheim Cup, one of which includes providing standard bearers for the tournament. A standard bearer is an individual who is in charge of carrying a standard sign and/or updating the score for each player or team in a group for the benefit of the spectators who are watching play. Standard Bearers walk inside the ropes with tour professionals and alongside an adult walking scorer.
“When I first found out I was selected to be a Standard Bearer, I was so excited,” said Leanette Pokuwaah, Kids Golf Foundation participant from DuPage AME. “I was jumping up and down and screaming! I am nervous because it is the first time I will be seeing a tournament like this. I am excited to get to learn from the professionals.”
The participants’ excitement is growing as the event nears, as well as the enthusiasm of the parents and guardians, who have been supporting their son or daughter along the way. In order to keep the youngsters engaged, the Foundation has been sending weekly updates on the tournament with fun facts, stories, photos and more.
“We are thrilled to have been asked by the LPGA to provide youngsters for this important role,” said Holly Alcala Foundation Director. “We know that the memories and stories of their experience as a standard bearer for an international event such as The Solheim Cup will last a lifetime.”
Standard Bearers will be carrying on various competition days from Friday, August 21 through Sunday, August 23, 2009, as well as on Thursday, August 20, for the Pro-Junior 4-Hole Challenge. This 4-Hole Challenge will feature players from the 2009 U.S. and European PING Junior Solheim Cup teams and professional U.S. and European veterans.
“This opportunity will be a great reflection on our organization and she will represent us very well,” said Tony Mann, father of Michelle Mann, Kids Golf Foundation participant. “I will be there everyday and follow her all the way!”
Congratulations to all the selected individuals! A complete listing of the selected Standard Bearers from both the Kids Golf Foundation and Illinois Junior Golf Association is available by calling Samantha Rubin at 630-466-0913. For more information on The 2009 Solheim Cup, please visit www.solheimcup.com.