Cash for Kids official charity for NI Open

Ross Oliver from Galgorm Castle with 'Courage' and Therese Maguire, Cash for Kids Charity Co-ordinator.
Ross Oliver from Galgorm Castle with 'Courage' and Therese Maguire, Cash for Kids Charity Co-ordinator.

Cash for Kids has been announced as the official charity to the Northern Ireland Open, in association with SPHERE Global and Ulster Bank.

Cash for Kids supports disadvantaged children throughout Northern Ireland so they can live life to the full and realise their full potential. The charity focuses on alleviating disability, combating illness and improving quality of life, while encouraging personal development and aspirational improvement.

“We’re delighted to have the continued support of Galgorm Castle and to be the official charity of the NI Open for 2015,” said Stephanie Laverty, Charity Manager for Cash for Kids, the official charity in 2014 too.

“Cash for Kids is a local children’s charity, so everything we raise at the event will stay in Northern Ireland and support disadvantaged children here. By supporting Cash for Kids the NI Open provides the means to give local children a better future and put smiles on thousands of young faces each year.

“Last year we raised over £7,000 at the event and we’re excited about the prospect of raising even more this year.”

Such figures could be a realistic target for the charity given the stellar field and record crowds expected to gather at Galgorm for the €170,000 European Challenge Tour event from August 6-9.

Household names like former European Tour winner Damien McGrane are in line to compete at the Ballymena venue and the veteran Meath professional has plenty of sound advice for young players starting out in the paid ranks.

“Professional golf can be rewarding but it’s a tough industry, it’s competitive and often difficult to make a living,” explained McGrane, who went through the PGA system and competed for years on the domestic circuit before making his breakthrough on the main European Tour.

“The Challenge Tour is one of the main development tours but young players can easily run up big expenses. If you have good weeks you can be well rewarded. I first learned how to play for money on the Irish PGA circuit for over 10 years before I played on the Challenge Tour and the main European Tour,” added the 44-year-old, who won the Volvo China Open in 2008.

McGrane will be one of many top players competing for the €27,200 first prize at Galgorm where entry is free for all the family (register at niopen.co.uk) at a tournament where the funds raised away from the fairways are just as important as the prize money on offer.