The newly titled SWALEC Wales Junior Inter-Club Challenge will be open to all U18 junior golfers from 160 Golf Union of Wales clubs across Wales. The competition gets underway at the end of August and will provide a platform for Wales’ most promising young golfers to showcase their talent.

The nationwide two month-long event will culminate in a national final to be held in Builth Wells at the end of October 2008, when the top junior club teams from eight golfing counties will battle it out for the winners’ trophy.

The SWALEC Junior Inter-Club Challenge was officially launched following on from the highly successful SWALEC Wales Challenge Tour event held at the Vale Resort at the end of July. A number of Welsh players at this year’s event have previously played as junior golfers in the inter-club challenge – including Tour players such as Stuart Manley and Kryon Sullivan.

The established competition helps discover and develop fresh young golfing talent – including players, such as, Joe Vickery, the current Welsh Boys Champion and semi-finalist at this year’s British Amateur Championship in Turnberry. Joe has played in the junior event for a number of years representing Newport Golf Club, including an appearance in the national final at Builth Wells.

This is the first time the Golf Union of Wales has worked in partnership with a sponsor for this event and SWALEC’s support of the competition will help develop this important mixed golf championship for girls and boys in Wales.

Brian Davies, Director of Golf Development, Golf Union of Wales based in Newport said: “Events such as the SWALEC Junior Inter-Club Challenge are a breeding ground for the elite amateurs and professionals of the future. The support of SWALEC will prove invaluable in helping the Golf Union of Wales and its member clubs to develop this next generation of talent, both boys and girls.”
The junior inter-club challenge sponsorship is part of a wide-ranging commitment by SWALEC (part of Scottish and Southern Energy) to the development of golf in Wales linked with the Ryder Cup Wales Summer of Golf programme.

SWALEC’s community golf initiative will include the production of a new junior golf rules and etiquette booklet with accompanying DVD to be distributed to all junior golf secretaries at clubs throughout Wales.

SWALEC Head of Marketing and Sales Alan Williams said: “We are pleased to be making a significant commitment to golf development and excellence in Wales from the grass roots level up. This is another major part of our contribution to sport in the community in Wales, which includes rugby and cricket.

“SWALEC is the first ever sponsor of this major junior golfing competition and is delighted to support the excellent work being done by Golf Union of Wales to nurture future golf talent.

“We have recently seen some of the stars of the game here in Wales during the Challenge Tour event – now we turn our focus to Wales’ golfing stars of the future. With all of Wales’ junior golfers with a handicap eligible to take part, we hope it will be a chance for our ambitious young players to really shine and enjoy the competition.”

Richard Dixon, CEO, Golf Union of Wales said: “With the prospect of the Ryder Cup coming to Wales in 2010, the profile of golf in Wales, both amateur and professional, has never been higher. It is fantastic that a company such as SWALEC is so supportive of both amateur and professional events and particularly focusing on the development of our young talent.”

Picture caption: (L-R) Nathan Harris and Alan Williams, Scottish and Southern Energy, Brian Davies, Golf Union of Wales, with Junior hopefuls, Tom Harry, 15, Dinas Powys, Alex Baker, 14, Pentyrch and Lewis Bishop, 15, Dinas Powys