- The funds raised in the VI Seve Ballesteros Challenge will go to the research work of the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), the world’s leading institution in brain cancer.
- Javier and Carmen Ballesteros received the final participants of a circuit that has brought together 2,000 players from across the country and that have helped to achieve the multiple objectives of the Seve Ballesteros Foundation.
Real Golf de Pedreña hosted this weekend the Final of the sixth edition of the Seve Ballesteros Foundation Challenge, a solidarity circuit that takes place every two years and that has travelled the national territory with the objective of raising funds that, as in the five previous editions will go to the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), to assist in the scientific work on tumors of the Central Nervous System led by researcher Massimo Squatrito.
Almost 2,000 players have taken part in the VI Seve Ballesteros Foundation Challenge and the final was played among the 23 qualified couples. In this edition, the bad weather prevented a normal day and the game had to be suspended when only a few holes were played. In the end, by lottery, the ‘victory’ fell to the couple formed by Francisco Javier García Cutrín and Manuel López Silva, of the Real Aero Club of Vigo, and as a fantastic prize they are invited to enjoy the days of July 18 and 19 of the Open 2020 Championship courtesy of The R&A, and guests in transfers and accommodation by The Foundation.
However, all participants received the reward of being able to visit the trophy room of the private house of Severiano Ballesteros where they could marvel at the trophies and the incredible memory of the Cantabrian player, such as the three claret jugs as winner of the Open Championship or the two green jackets as the winner of the Augusta National Masters, among endless trophies, prizes and details that mark the room.
Seve Ballesteros, born in Pedreña (Cantabria) on April 9, 1957, died on May 7, 2011 due to a brain tumour. In 2009 he founded his Foundation in order to contribute to scientific research on brain tumours, as well as to help young people in the development of their sports careers and at the same time bring golf to children using it as an instrument to promote the values that entails.
In 2011, the Seve Ballesteros Foundation signed a collaboration agreement with the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), that since then carries out research tasks focused on advancing the knowledge of the different types of cancer that affect the central nervous system, and whose work has been endorsed and recognized by the reports and papers presented that highlight the quality and progress of the work performed.
The Seve Ballesteros Foundation has contributed, to date, more than 750,000 euros to this great research work. For María Blasco, director of CNIO: “We are very grateful to The Foundation because its contribution is fundamental in the work we are doing and helps to place the CNIO as one of the most important research centres in the world, and the first in Europe, especially in relation to brain tumours, in which there is still much to study. The group that Massimo Squatrito directs is leading in the world and has made great progress in recent years, so we have nothing but words of thanks to the Seve Ballesteros Foundation for its financing”
Similarly, much of the success is due to the important collaboration of Mercedes-Benz since the first edition. Roland Schell, president of Mercedes-Benz Spain, said: “Mercedes-Benz has many values in common with the Seve Ballesteros Foundation. And these are the ones that make us full of satisfaction to be able to collaborate with the Foundation in its support for research”.
The awards ceremony was chaired by Javier and Carmen Ballesteros, sons of Seve, that together with his brother, Miguel, foster his father’s legacy strengthened by the multitude of work carried out by the Foundation. “We appreciate the participation of the thousands of players of this edition, the great help of Mercedes-Benz and the rest of sponsors – without them all this would not be possible – as well as the great collaboration, once again, of the Real Golf de Pedreña – this is where my father started – and the rest of the clubs that have signed up for this biennial edition; and all in order to support the incredible work of the CNIO directed by María Blasco, a work that is not visible on a daily basis, but whose work will help many in a promising future. And we are also very happy with the rest of the projects carried out by the Foundation, especially with children, both in areas of golf learning in children’s oncological areas of different hospitals, and in golf facilities to teach new generations, the two main motives of the foundation that my father created,” said Javier Ballesteros.
Jesús Rodríguez, head of the Seve Ballesteros Foundation golf program in the different hospitals, said: “what started at the Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital, in Santander, with a golf playground for children with oncology and psychiatry patients, and It has grown to five terraces and golf programs at the Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid, which help children to better manage the treatment, learn values and improve their stay in the medical centres”.
Other awards programs in which the Foundation works, such as the inauguration a month ago of the Seve Ballesteros Sports Centre in Brea de Tajo, where the passion of the children of the CRA Los Olivos promoted the transformation of a soccer field into a golf facility that will serve as a boost for golf and its values as well as helping the youth of the Brea Minors Centre in its integration; or the reform and improvement of the Pediatric ICU of the Niño Jesús Hospital in Madrid, the largest project led by the Aladina Foundation.