8 November 2020 – The Gary and Vivienne Player Foundation, in partnership with the Sunshine Tour, has launched the ultimate tribute to the life and legacy of Vivienne Player with the announcement of the new Gary and Vivienne Player Invitational charity golf tournament that will be played at The Lost City Golf Course at Sun City from 22-23 January 2022.
Sanctioned and supported by the Sunshine Tour, the tournament will feature a field of celebrities, business leaders, and 15 Sunshine Tour professionals competing in aid of helping the Gary and Vivienne Player Foundation to raise funds for the Blair Atholl Pre-Primary School. The Sunshine Tour professionals will qualify by virtue of their finishes in the inaugural Gary and Vivienne Player Challenge, a R1 million tournament that will be played at The Lost City Golf Course from 19-21 January 2022. The top 15 professionals at the end of this tournament will then qualify to play in the Gary and Vivienne Player Invitational.
Player has said that the new tournament, which will form part of the Sunshine Tour’s schedule, is in memory of his wife Vivienne, who passed away from pancreatic cancer in August this year.
“Vivienne shared my love for people and my desire to make a difference in people’s lives and to help bring some joy to disadvantaged communities. Her life was dedicated to the people around her – from supporting me in my career, to raising our children, and then working with me in our various efforts to give back to those in need. The Gary and Vivienne Player Invitational will not only be a fitting tribute to Vivienne, but it will also continue her legacy and the important work we will continue to do through the Gary and Vivienne Player Foundation,” said Player.
The establishment of the Blair Atholl Pre-Primary School on their Blair Atholl farm near Johannesburg in 1990 for the children of farm workers in that community marked the official start of the Gary and Vivienne Player Foundation.
The Foundation was established to nurture and educate a handful of children near their farm, with the desire to support, uplift and develop underprivileged and vulnerable children.
Gary and Vivienne Player have devoted their life’s work to make a difference in communities and to individuals, and the Foundation builds on this legacy and remains committed to protecting and enriching the lives of vulnerable youths.
The Blair Atholl Pre-Primary school has since grown to 125 children between the ages of 3 and 6, some of whom have returned as current teachers at the school.
And it is entirely apt that the school will be the beneficiary of the inaugural Gary and Vivienne Player Invitational.
“There is that saying that behind every successful man is a strong woman. Mrs Player played such an important role in the success of Mr Player and the Foundation. It was that gentle soul that she had that made such a big difference,” said Alex Maditsi, a trustee of The Gary and Vivienne Player Foundation.
Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour, said they were delighted to support the legacy of Mrs Player through these events.
“Gary Player has done so much for the growth of the Sunshine Tour and South African professional golf, and Vivienne Player in turn played such a vital role in not only his success but also the success of their Foundation and the impact it has made on so many young lives. We are proud to lend our support and that of our member professionals, and to play a role in helping with the important work of the Gary and Vivienne Player Foundation.”