Alexey Izotov, Head of GlavUpDK under the MFA of Russia, thanked in his opening remarks representatives of diplomatic missions, guests, sponsors, partners, journalists, and everyone who had made an input into the Tournament.
“It is a good tradition that GlavUpDK’s Charity Tournament takes place in early June, being timed to coincide with Children’s Day. The Tournament has united hundreds of caring people and has raised over 80 million rubles worth of donations for children over more than two decades. The donations are contributed to boarding schools, children’s hospitals and charity funds. This good tradition will continue today,” Izotov said.
Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov sent greetings to the Tournament participants. “This Tournament is extremely popular with the business and political elites, the diplomatic community, all athletes and golf fans. I thank everyone who organizes this Tournament in our country and, of course, I wish every participant to succeed,” Zhukov said.
This year donations were received by the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Boarding School, the Podolsk Boarding School for Special Needs Children, the Vera Hospice Charity Fund, the Konstantin Khabensky Charity Fund, the Galchonok and Shag Vmeste charity funds, and the Sozvezdiye Education Center.
In addition to representatives of the funds and the boarding schools, children, among them Dmitry Gorbunov, who had been sponsored by the Konstantin Khabensky Fund for years, were invited to the stage. The Tournament opening ceremony ended with the performance of the Preodoleika children’s dance ensemble, and balloons and doves were released into the sky.
Foreign diplomats, who participated in the Charity Tournament, indicated that such events made a substantial contribution to popularization of golf as a new Olympic sport, promotion of a healthy lifestyle and strengthening of international humanitarian contacts. They noted that the charity goals of the Tournament won hearts of various people. This is proven by the high popularity of this event with heads and employees of diplomatic missions, members of the Russian political and business communities, acclaimed athletes, and artists.
Diplomats from various countries have played on one of Russia’s best professional golf fields at Moscow Country Club in the long history of the Tournament. The tradition was continued this year: heads and employees of diplomatic missions of Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Italy, Laos, Singapore, Uzbekistan, South Africa and some other countries were the event’s participants and guests.
Theater and film stars, who represent charity funds, and heads of children’s establishments take an active part in the Tournament year after year. The 22nd Tournament was not an exception. The Tournament events and the press conference involved Yevgeny Stychkin, Maria Shalayeva, Olga Sutulova (the Vera Hospice Charity Fund), Anna Sysoyeva (Development Director of the Khabensky Charity Fund), Yelena Polyakova (Deputy Principal of the Podolsk Boarding School for children with grave hearing impairments), Alexander Pushnoi and Svetlana Ustinova (Galchonok Charity Fund).
Representatives of the funds expressed their gratitude to the Tournament organizers at the press conference and told the journalists how the donations were spent. For instance, the Khabensky and Vera funds gave targeted assistance to 12 children with severe disabilities after the 2016 Tournament.
Alexey Izotov, Head of GlavUpDK under the MFA of Russia, expressed confidence in the great future of the Tournament. The golf field is not an arena for political debate; its purpose is to bolster friendship between people from various countries, irrespective of their political views, economic status or religion.