By Neto Baptiste
National Hero, Sir Vivian Richards, is best known for his exploits on the cricket pitch, but he has certainly proven his worth on the golf course over the past 10 years, having represented the twin-island state at many tournaments, both here and across the globe.
On March 7 next year, as he celebrates his 69th birthday, the legendary West Indies captain will get an opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds with the staging of a putting contest at the grounds named in his honour, the Sit Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
Acting facilities manager at the venue, Keithroy Black, said the iconic batsman has given his blessings to the staging of the fundraising event and could even take part himself.
“All funds raised on that day will go towards the upgrade and the continual upgrade of the stadium. We explained to him what we are going to do and we even did a voice note of it which we will release eventually in terms of his support on his birthday, and he is happy about it. One of the things he said to us was that it was very creative in terms of what we are doing because when you speak to even ‘Kuma’ [Leon Rodney] and others is that they find it very creative because it is not something you expect to be going to the stadium to play golf,” he said.
Stating that the event will be limited to 100 participants, Black explained how play will be structured, adding that no limits will be placed on age or gender where participation is concerned.
“The plan is to use the pitches and again, based on the number of registrations we will use two or three pitches. It is a knockout competition and it’s just only putting so you would be putting from 10 yards. On the cricket pitch it’s about 17 to the full 22 yards. I believe it’s a day when we will have some fun and we hope to get the support from the general public and all of the golfers out there. It doesn’t matter how young you are, or how old you are, you can come out and compete and the good thing about it is that it is not for free because when you win you get prize monies, so it’s not just come and you win a trophy,” he said.
Registration for the event is $200 with a total payout of $9000. A total of $5000 will go to the winner, with $3000 to the second place finisher. Third place finisher will collect $1000.