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Landowners support tournament

Zanzeer Singh
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

THE cost of hosting the inaugural Fiji International at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course will run into millions of dollars.

The landowners of Sanasana village officially gave their blessing to hold the tournament at the traditional welcoming ceremony yesterday.

PGA of Australia chief executive officer Brian Thorburn and Minister for Youth and Sport Viliame Naupoto were the guests during the ceremony.

The trophy for the tournament was also unveiled.

The official dinner for the players and sponsors will be held at the Intercontinental this evening.

Thorburn said they had invested in a trophy that would last a long time.

"The landowners of Sanasana village gave us their blessing and gratitude to use their land on which the tournament is on," he said.

"The trophy which was unveiled is very striking. It is locally designed and made in traditional Fijian style. The cost of the trophy is in the thousands.

"We have invested in a trophy that will stand the test of time. We want this tournament to be played for 30 years so the trophy needs to robust and strong.

"We needed to make a statement about the size of the tournament and there is a golf element in it.

"The cost to run the tournament is in the millions of dollars. Just putting the television broadcast and creating the signal to go out live around the world will cost us more than $1m. We have had to import very high technology and expensive equipment.

"We will have 56 crew running the show. They are staying on a Captain Cook cruise ship at Natadola Bay and that's their hotel for the week."

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