Padraig Harrington has received the Golf Foundation’s ‘Spirit of Golf’ Award at Wentworth in recognition of his “outstanding contribution” to the sport and for inspiring so many young players over the years.
Padraig now joins an illustrious cast of previous recipients of the award, which includes Gary Player (2007), Tony Jacklin (2008), Lee Westwood (2009), Ian Poulter (2010), Ernie Els (2011), Peter Alliss (2012), Tom Watson (2013), Darren Clarke (2014), Justin Rose (2015) and Laura Davies (2016).
The Golf Foundation is the child-centred national charity that through its HSBC Golf Roots programme helps young people from all backgrounds to enjoy the playing and personal benefits of the sport.
The Foundation believes Harrington is a player who truly embodies the ‘Skills for Life’ attributes of the game such as resilience, respect and sportsmanship, which are among values inherent within all Golf Foundation programmes that see more and more new children playing golf in schools, communities and golf clubs.
Foundation Chairman Stephen Lewis presented Harrington with the award during the BMW PGA Championship. He said:
“Padraig has inspired so many young people to play golf in just the right way. The example he sets on the golf course encourages all of us to play the game with spirit, fun and integrity.”
Padraig celebrated earning the accolade by captaining a team of local youngsters in a special ‘Tri-Golf’ match in Wentworth’s Spectator Village on Thursday (25 May). Tri-Golf is just one of the charity’s fun formats which are successfully encouraging children along a pathway from school to regular club golf (‘Start, Learn and Stay’), and Padraig clearly relished the experience and enjoyed answering questions from the girls and boys, from Cippenham Infants School in Slough.
Away from the golf course, where he has so far netted three Majors (including back-to-back Open Championships and the USPGA Championship), played in six Ryder Cup matches and enjoyed a total of 27 other victories around the world, Padraig devotes time to generating awareness and raising funds for good causes.
He runs his own Charitable Foundation, which supports deserving beneficiaries in Ireland and internationally, and supports the junior game as part of his role as an R&A Working for Golf Ambassador and as a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics. Padraig is also a patron of the Irish charity, the Oesophageal Cancer Fund.
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