As the world had its eyes on the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris, the major biennial golf event, the AUBG community was occupied with another competition. The second annual AUBG & Friends Fundraising Golf Tournament took place at the Pirin Golf & Country Club near Bansko on Sept. 29 gathering students, friends and supporters of the university. Same as the inaugural edition, this year’s tournament aimed to collect money to fund scholarships for promising AUBG students.
“[AUBG’s] mission, our vision is about giving a world-class education to young people, about giving a hand to young talents so that they will prosper in the country,” said Bulgarian President (2012-2017) and Special Envoy to AUBG Rossen Plevneliev at the start of the event. He stressed on how important it is for successful people to give back to their communities. “You know very well that the only way to make history and the only way to make a difference is to give and not take.”
23 golfers participated in the tournament. They played in the popular Stableford format split into two divisions. The top three players in each division received awards – Mark Kelly won first place in Division I, followed by Karl Norman and Vladimir Mihaylov; Hristo Hristov was the lead in Division II with Stefan Mitev and Abdelkader Bouakil taking the next two prizes. Additional prizes were given for Longest Drive and Nearest to the Pin, to Kalina Markova and Stephen Platts respectively.
But it wasn’t only the experienced golfers who got to play on the turf. More than a dozen students traveled from Blagoevgrad to take their first steps in the sport. A professional instructor showed them the ropes around the course after which they got to practice and develop their putting skills.
The day ended with an award ceremony and cocktail at the club house. Winners received their prizes from Svetoslav Georgiev (EMBA ’05), AUBG alumnus and Vice President International Operations at C3i, the main sponsor of the tournament.
“It’s a real privilege for us to be the primary sponsor, I hope [this tournament] becomes a tradition from now onwards,” Georgiev said. “It didn’t take me a lot of time to confirm our participation as a sponsor so when I got the call I told them I’ll do what I can to support the initiative.“
The tournament also received great support from Reiffeisen Properties Holding International and Emirates Mutual Funds Exchange, as well as the Pirin Golf and Country Club, the Family Business Network, the Bulgarian Golf Association and the Bulgarian Golf Portal. Refreshment were provided by Glarus, Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria, Pure H2O, Menada Winery, Nestle and Nescafe Dolce Gusto. Nova TV was the official media partner of the event.
Story by Martin Georgiev
Photos by Anastasia Garyainova