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Cuba to create Golf Federation for 2016 Olympics

  • 13-Jun-11 11:10
  • Cuba
  • Cuba Standard

The president of the Cuban Olympic Federation has announced that Cuba will be adding two new sports to its national federation. The two new disciplines will be golf and rugby and he promised golf would no longer be just for tourists on Cuba holidays.

Cuba to create Golf Federation for 2016 Olympics

According to Cuba’s national news agency (ACN) the country is planning to establish golf as a national sport and develop its practise over the few coming years in time for the country to enter hopeful golf competitors in the 2016 Olympic Games, due to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

During an interview with Prensa Latina News Agency, the president of the Cuban Olympic Committee, Jose Ramon Fernandez revealed that although golf installations proved very expensive to create and very costly to maintain, golf shouldn’t be just a high-end sport aimed at the elite, but that instead it should be to the reach of every Cuban, not just tourists who go on Cuba holidays to
enjoy some of its championship golf courses.

“The tourism ministry has among its projects to increase the number of golf courses,” Fernandez explained. “But they know the cost is very high and maintenance is exclusive. Growing the grass, irrigation and mowing require exceptional attention. Cuba will tend to the sport as a function of tourism, and we will try to use everything we can in this direction.”

Despite the high costs of construction, maintenance and day-to-day operation of golf courses, Jose Ramon Fernandez said that the new move to make Golf a national sport in Cuba, available to everyone’s reach was approved by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and fully backed by Cuban authorities.

“There are very few golf courses here,” Fernandez admitted, while adding that new ones were on schedule to be added very soon (and most to serve the ludicrous Cuba holidays market).

“Cuba’s existing golf courses are used for tourism, not for sports” he declared, while expressing his earnest dedication to change this and direct the further construction of golf courses to serve a public interest and introduce this elitist sport to the wider population.

In addition to golf, Cuba also requested to add another new sport to the island’s Olympic federation. Likewise, in time for the 2016 Olympics, the Cuban Olympic Committee will create a Rugby federation as this sport will also bow as a new Olympic discipline in 2016’s games. The inclusion of rugby and golf as new Olympic sports were decided during the 121st session of the COC in Copenhague, which took place in 2009.

In the meantime, those travelling to Cuba for the purpose of enjoying relaxing Cuba holidays, will be able to do so at the Varadero Golf Club and the Havana Golf Club, both premium championship courses complete with all facilities. Further golf developments for tourists are under the pipeline with four initial projects totalling more than $1.5 billion and which will include luxury accommodation facilities, spas and commercial centres.

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