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Bermuda launches Black Golfers Week to promote diversity in sport

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Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA), in partnership with the APGA Tour and PGA Magazine, marked the culmination of Black History Month with the announcement of an APGA Tournament to kick off the inaugural Bermuda Black Golfers Week in October 2022. Black Golfers Week is an initiative to help promote diversity in sport through sports tourism.

With the support of Butterfield Bermuda Championship, BTA held a preview weekend event in 2021 to showcase the concept and bring partners, sponsors, and influencers together as a taster for what is planned in 2022.   

The 2021 event preview featured the Legends Lunch, a dynamic panel of local and international Black sporting pioneers in golf, athletics and premier league soccer moderated by the BTA Director of Sports and Business Development, three-time Team USA Olympian Hazel Clark. Olympian John Clark, pioneering Westham footballer Clyde Best and international golf pro, Kim Swan, JP MP, explored their respective challenges as minorities in sport and the activism required to help create opportunities for the Black athletes who came behind them.  

Charles H. Jeffers II, CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said, “We are committed to taking on a leadership role in broadening access to the sport of golf worldwide. Black Golfers Week will position Bermuda as a leading light elevating diversity, equity, and inclusion in sport. These conversations can enlighten and inspire golf communities of all backgrounds. Ultimately, our goal is to drive visitation and develop a framework for the sport that will deepen the talent pool, foster opportunity, and underscore Bermuda’s pioneering role in Black golf history.”  

The weeklong event will include a screening of ‘Rafael Louis “Kid” Corbin: Breaking Golf’s Color Line in America, Canada and Bermuda’, a documentary by Dr. Jeffrey Sammons highlighting the little-known story of Black Bermudian golfer Rafael Corbin’s role in opening golf to African Americans and Afro Canadians through his sports activism against segregation at golf clubs across North America. In honor of his extraordinary contributions to the sport, organizers will close the week with the eponymous Kid Corbin Classic golf tourney at Port Royal Golf Course. The week includes a full golf itinerary with a celebrity pro-am tournament, free golf play and golf lessons, interspersed with panel discussions, awards dinners, island excursions and parties.  

BTA Director of Business Development Hazel Clark (OLY) said, “Last fall, we gave the world a preview of our ambitions for driving diversity in sport with Bermuda’s incomparable ocean-flanked golf courses as the backdrop. This October, we will unveil an even more exciting itinerary to showcase our robust sports tourism infrastructure, celebrate our partnerships, and create a memorable, impactful golf weekend for our visitors. What’s more, this initiative will incorporate significant local engagement elements, including a kids’ golf clinic hosted by international golfing phenom Troy Mullins. We are excited by the potential of this event and look forward to welcoming both golf enthusiasts and golf-curious travelers.”   

The 2022 APGA Tour event follows PGA Tour’s Butterfield Bermuda Championship which has come on board as partner for the Black Golfer’s Week 2022 program. Sean Sovacool, Executive Director, Butterfield Bermuda Championship, said, “the tournament staff is committed to delivering a premier golfing experience to professionals in Bermuda. Equally important is the knowledge that removing barriers to entry and supporting diversity in the sport is a crucial next step to growing the game of golf worldwide. With this in mind, we proudly support the aims and mission of Bermuda Black Golfers Week.” 

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