Sports extra

Chairman wins top golf award

Sander van Gelder, chairman of the Vale do Lobo Group of Companies, has been honoured by the Portuguese Golf Federation as the entrepreneur who contributed the most towards the development of golf within Portugal in 2003. The honour was announced at the Federation’s annual dinner in Lisbon, attended by the Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, Hermínio Loureiro, and the Secretary of State for Tourism, Luís Correia da Silva. In a speech made by Hermínio Loureiro, the Portuguese Golf Federation was highly praised for the initiative of de-centralising its operations by opening an Algarve regional office located in the Vale do Lobo resort. There was also some good news for Vale do Lobo Tour Professional, António Sobrinho, who was voted Best Portuguese Golf Professional for the second consecutive year.

Charity golf

For the seventh year running, one of the Algarve’s major charity events will be held at Vilamoura on January 31. Since its inception in 1998, this yearly event has grown tremendously and, in total, around 192,000 euros has been raised. Last year alone, around 41,500 euros were distributed to the Casa da Primeira Infância, an association supporting impoverished children, in Loulé. This year the funds will be destined towards the Associação Cultural e de Apoio Social de Olhão, an association for the assistance of impoverished people. The event kicks off with a Stableford Pairs Better Ball on The Old Course of Vilamoura, which is offered exclusively for this tournament by Lusotur Golfes SA. The golf tees off at 8am. Partners can be arranged. In the evening, there is a cocktail, followed by a gala dinner and a show at the Casino de Vilamoura, where everybody is welcome, whether or not they have played golf.

The patrons of the event are the British Embassy in Lisbon, the British Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, the Portuguese Chamber in London, the Royal British Club and the Vilamoura Golf Club. The Guest of Honour is Her Majesty’s Ambassador, Dame Glynne Evans, DBE, CMG, PhD. Principal sponsors are Lusotur Golfes SA, Casino de Vilamoura, Vodafone, Tivoli Hotels and Atelier do Sul Design Consultants. The price to play the tournament and to attend the gala dinner, fully inclusive, is 95 euros. The gala dinner and show is only 49 euros. Tickets on sale through The Old Course (289 310 341), Atelier do Sul (289 363 340), Florida Golf (289 399 522), Ian Pugsley at Four Seasons Country Club (289 357 144) and Solseta (289 396 677).

Football blues

Browns Sport and Leisure Club once again welcomed Oxford University Women’s Football Club to its training facilities last December. The Oxford Women used the start of their early Christmas break to relax and catch a bit of winter sun, and to follow a winter training schedule. The schedule consisted of working out in the gym, swimming, playing volleyball, attending high energy spinning classes and practising football skills on the artificial five-a-side football pitch.

The main objective of the trip was, however, to experience some Portuguese style ‘futsal’. Normally accustomed to traditional 11-a-side football, the Oxford Women took to futsal (five-a-side) with enthusiasm and vigour. Over the six days of staying at Browns, Oxford played four games against CDR Quarteirense, Padernense, Casa de Benfica Faro (sub 17) and GDC Machados – local teams that compete in the Seniores Femininos Futsal league run by the Associação de Futebol do Algarve.

The experience of the local teams showed and, although Oxford unfortunately were unable to secure a win, the players revealed that their tour to the Algarve was an enjoyable and relaxing one, away from the stress of their recent exams and the dreary English weather.