Former World, European and Commonwealth Games champion Kriss Akabusi was quick off the starting blocks to help children’s medical research charity Sparks and funky clothing brand Royal & Awesome sound the gun for the inaugural Sparks SpeedGolf Challenge.
New for 2015, the event is challenging golfers to show their rivals a clean pair of heels and complete 18 holes of golf as fast as they can, with all UK golf clubs eligible to take part.
Former 400m hurdles star Akabusi is fronting the race against the clock, which is taking place throughout the summer, with Scotland’s most colourful clothing brand Royal & Awesome providing prizes for some of the country’s top performers.
SpeedGolf is a faster, more athletic version of golf which involves playing a round in the lowest possible number of shots, combined with the time taken to run the golf course. For example, shooting a round of 90 in a time of 70 minutes and 21 seconds would give a Speedgolf score of 160.21.
Golfers are encouraged to pledge £10 and challenge fellow club members for local bragging rights at the top of the clubhouse scoreboard, or, alternatively, invited to compete in the national leaderboard against golfers across the UK.
Akabusi, who won ten medals at major championships during a glittering track career including five golds, said: “Good luck! I love my Royal and Awesomes and hope everyone competing enjoys the challenge.”
Since 1991, Sparks – one of the country’s leading medical research charities – has raised more than £27m through initiatives to fund vital research and this continued partnership will see Royal & Awesome support the charity’s golf and events throughout 2015, aiming to raise valuable funds for life-saving medical research.
Daniel Smith, head of golf events at Sparks, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have Kriss Akabusi at the forefront of this new initiative and are delighted to continue our partnership with Royal & Awesome. The SpeedGolf Challenge gives golfers a unique opportunity to raise funds, have fun and look awesome while doing it.”
Royal & Awesome brand director Graeme Smeaton added: “Royal & Awesome is always on the look-out for quirky, unique opportunities to help raise funds and this certainly fits the bill. There will be flashes of bright colour up and down the fairways of the UK with golfers competing against each other for the fastest times.”