VIPINGO, Kilifi County – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has commended organizers of the Ladies European Tour for picking Kenya to host its final tournament this year, saying it has marketed Kenya as a top sports tourism destination.
The Ladies European Tour founded in 1978 is a professional golf tour for women based at Buckinghamshire Golf Club near London in the United Kingdom.
The First Lady said the publicity the Ladies European Tour-endorsed Magical Kenya Ladies Open golf tournament attracted at the global stage has strengthened Kenya’s position on the golf tourism market.
“The Magical Kenya Ladies Open has also attracted worldwide viewership. This publicity has helped position Kenya as a destination of choice for golf championships and as a world class holiday destination especially now as we move into Christmas season,” the First Lady said.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta spoke today at the Vipingo Ridge Golf Resort in Kilifi County when she presided over the closing ceremony of the historic four day women golf tournament that attracted 108 professional golfers from 28 countries across the world including Kenya.
The Magical Kenya Ladies Open golf tournament is the last event on the 2019 Ladies European Tour calendar.
“Kenya is deeply honoured to have been selected to host the final tournament of the Ladies European Tour 2019 season. This is the first time in history that a ladies professional golf championship of this magnitude has come to the East African region,” she noted.
The First Lady encouraged more women to continue breaking gender barriers that restrict women’s participation in worldwide sports and other spheres of influence.
Presenting the prizes to the winners, the First Lady congratulated all the participants for making the inaugural Magical Kenya Ladies Open a big success.
“Ladies, I hope that the connections and networks you have built through your participation in this prestigious tournament have a lasting impact on your visit to Kenya,” she told the participants.
The First Lady expressed optimism that the tournament has triggered interest that will see a rise in the uptake of the game among ladies across the country.
Esther Henseleit from Germany emerged the winner in the tournament and was awarded 45,000 Euros (about Shs 5 million) of the total prize money of 300,000 Euros.
Sports CS Amina Mohamed welcomed the participants to come back next year, saying her ministry intends to make the Magical Kenya Ladies Open an annual event.
“This is the only way that we will be able to benefit from this magnificent golf course. We will host many more golf events here because we want to see this course actively and adequately used,” CS Mohamed said.
Other speakers included Tourism CS Najib Balala, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and the Ladies European Tour Tournament Director Michael Wood.