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Golfers invited to sign up for competition to help children's hospital charity in the Highlands

By Val Sweeney

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Jamie and Kaiya Smith.
Jamie and Kaiya Smith.

Golfers are being urged to swing into action to help a children's hospital charity working in the Highlands.

The Archie Foundation hopes to build on last year's success of its inaugural Archie Open, teeing off this year’s competition on May 1.

The competition is open to all golfers – from serious to new players – playing any course throughout May and will help raise much-needed funds to help babies, children and families affected by illness and bereavement.

The foundation's work includes supporting the Highland Children's Unit at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

Last year’s tournament winner, Val Mitchell, will be defending the title she scooped at the Black Isle’s Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Links, the world’s 15th oldest golf club.

"I still can’t believe I won," she said.

"It was so easy to enter and such an exceptional prize. I would encourage all golf courses and golfers to participate this year and help the Archie Foundation support local sick children.”

Val Mitchell, winner of the Archie Open competition in 2020.
Val Mitchell, winner of the Archie Open competition in 2020.

The inaugural Archie Open was initially planned for May 2020 but had to be shelved and replanned as a socially-distanced event before eventually taking place in September.

It was supported by 17 of the best courses in the north and north east of Scotland while many have already signed up for the 2021 event.

The charity expects many more clubs to pledge their support and anticipates hundreds of golfers will take part as they attempt to secure the title.

Golfers play a round on their chosen course, submit their stableford score and donate £5 to help local sick children.

The winner will scoop a prestigious prize with additional rewards offered throughout the tournament on a prize draw basis to ensure that golfers of all levels have the opportunity to win.

Jamie Smith, fundraising manager for the Archie Foundation said: "We were overwhelmed by the support received from so many clubs and courses across the north and north east last year and we’re really hoping to build on this success both in terms of clubs and number of golfers signing up.

"The great thing is that any golfer playing literally any course in the world through the month of May can take part.

"There’s really nothing stopping people from taking part and while there are fabulous prizes for the best players there are also some brilliant spot prizes on offer on a prize draw basis so this is not just for good golfers, anyone who can swing a club can have a go."

He continued: "Archie provides a real lifeline for many families in the north of Scotland who are facing really challenging times, either as a result of illness or bereavement, and by taking part in the Archie Open, golfers will be helping ensure we can be there to make the difference when and where needed most."

A £5 donation, for example, could pay for vouchers for a hospital meal so parents of a very poorly child could keep their strength up without having to leave their child’s bedside.

"It’s a relatively small sum of money to donate but the difference it makes for families in really challenging circumstances is priceless," Mr Smith said.

To find out more about the competition, go to www.archie.org/events/archieopen/.

Related story: Call for golfers to help charity

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