The under-privileged children of Asia finally have a benefactor who will be both financier and mentor to help them break into the sport of golf.
In an unprecedented move, Vietnamese entrepreneur turned philanthropist, Mr. Le Van Kiem has made a substantial contribution to help establish the Asian Junior Golf Development Foundation. Mr. Le is the Chairman of the KN Vientiane Group.
The announcement was made following the conclusion of the 2013 Asia Pacific Golf Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia.
"I understand the challenges that Asia's under-privileged children face in taking up the game of golf and through this foundation, I hope to be able to help aspiring young Asian talent who do not have the financial means to develop and aim for top honours in the sport of golf," Mr. Le declared.
One of Vietnam's leading entrepreneur, the billionaire has invested in a 36-hole golf course as part of the Vientiane-Long Thanh special economic zone covering an area of 557.74 ha with a total investment of US$1 billion.
The Asian Junior Golf Development Foundation will be managed by the Asia Pacific Golf Group with Mr. Le serving as its Patron.
Commenting on the formation of the foundation, Angela Raymond, president of the Asia Pacific Golf Group said, "What Mr. Le has done is indeed a highly commendable gesture from a man who believes in sharing his success with the less fortunate and this initiative is destined to grow under his patronage and we hope to work with various national golfing bodies in the region to identify and support juniors who need the help of the foundation."
One of Asia's top coaches of juniors, Tony Meechai, President of Tony Meechai Golf Academy said, "This is certainly a momentous moment for junior golf development and I am sure that with Mr. Le at the helm of the new foundation, efforts will be made to reach out to Asia's heartlands to draw out some of the best talent available to develop into future champions."
This sentiment was shared by the principals of Pro Tour Golf College, the leading golf academy in the region, David Milne and Lawrie Montague who said, "We are now actively developing programmes for juniors in Asia and it is really wonderful to see this generous gesture from Mr. Le and we believe that it can only do a lot of good for the development of golf in Asia."
The Asian Junior Golf Development Foundation has been made possible with a donation from Mr. Le. "In the months ahead, we will partner with various stake-holders in the golf industry to roll out a very thorough programme to see how best we can help deliver support to deserving juniors who come from under-privileged homes in Asia," said Ms. Raymond.
The Asian Junior Golf Development Foundation will be headquartered in Singapore.