New Zealand’s former Prime Minister John Key and women’s World No. 1 Lydia Ko are the newest ambassadors for International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS HANDA), the leading global organisation supporting blind and disabled golf.
The ambassadors will represent ISPS during the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth and ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open tournaments Feb. 16-19, 2017.
Key and Ko, are the latest high profile individuals to be named ISPS HANDA global brand ambassadors. They join other celebrated golfers, including three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington, PGA Tour winner Emilliano Grillo, former Ryder Cup Star Victor Dubuisson, Dame Laura Davies and England’s No. 1 Charley Hull.
ISPS HANDA’s philanthropy across the sporting world—in New Zealand in particular—is an effort for which Kiwi Key and Ko have supported for some time.
Between 2008 to 2016 when Key served as prime minister, he witnessed ISPS HANDA’s charity work at the ISPS HANDA 2016 New Zealand Women’s Open, where Lydia Ko was also the tournament ambassador. That tournament was held soon after a devastating earthquake hit the surrounding Christchurch region in November 2016. The proceeds supported the city’s rebuilding effort after the disaster. The contribution over the years also supported scholarship programmes at nearby Canterbury University, as well as the New Zealand Olympic and Paralympic Committees. Looking forward, ISPS will further its presence in New Zealand through its sponsorship of the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open next month, and New Zealand Football.
Speaking of Key and Ko, ISPS HANDA founder Dr Haruhisa Handa said:
“We’re thrilled to have our newly enhanced ambassador team at ISPS. At ISPS we believe in the power of sport and its ability to change lives. The Rt. Hon. John Key and Lydia Ko perfectly represent our values, with their ability to inspire others both on and off the golf course.”
New Zealander Ko, 19, became the youngest golfer at age 17 to be ranked No. 1. At age 18, she became the youngest two-time major winner. Ko now joins the team as a global ambassador and will sport the charity logo on her right sleeve.
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