Northern Ireland Hospice named official charity to Black Desert NI Open

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Northern Ireland Hospice is delighted to be named as the Official Charity for this year’s Black Desert NI Open presented by Tom McKibbin that will take place at Galgorm from July 23-28 where tickets are free for all the family.

The announcement further enhances the longstanding relationship McKibbin has with the local charity, as he has been an Ambassador for NI Children’s Hospice since 2016. The DP World Tour winner is still only 21 but has been involved with the charity since he was 13.

Lauren Doherty, NI Hospice’s Interim Director of Brand and Income, said: “We are proud to have Tom as our Ambassador for NI Children’s Hospice, and now we are also delighted to be involved for the first time with the prestigious NI Open. It will be a fabulous few days of golf at Galgorm and a great opportunity to raise awareness and support for our mission.

“With the widening gap between our costs and the statutory funding we receive, this partnership with the NI Open will help us make a real impact in providing our specialist care to those who need our help the most – local babies, children, and adults with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses.”

NI Hospice will be set up at Galgorm’s ‘Wee Course’, the six-hole short game area where everyone is welcome to visit. A number of activities will take place where members of all the family can play a few holes or try golf for the first time, while raising much-needed funds for the local charity. All clubs, balls and equipment will be provided.

Tournament week at Galgorm kicks-off with the popular NI Open Pro-am on Tuesday, July 23 where a host of local sport and entertainment celebrities will play in the fun team format alongside their designated professionals.

The Challenge Tour event gets under way from Thursday (July 25-28) and promises to be one of the most high-profile events on the tour’s schedule this year. A host of leading players will make up the international field, including Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen who will be one to watch.

The Dane has been in scintillating form through the first half of the year, recording two wins in the space of three weeks to move into pole position at the top of the Road to Mallorca Rankings. Neergaard-Petersen’s closest challenger is Englishman John Parry, who will also be targeting a third win of the season, while five-time DP World Tour winner Alexander Levy will also be in action.

Several local stars are also due to challenge, with Irishmen Conor Purcell and Gary Hurley both arriving at Galgorm in good form, while Jonathan Caldwell will be hoping to make his mark on home soil too.

“I am thrilled that Northern Ireland Hospice will be part of tournament week at the NI Open. It’s a charity that’s very close to my heart and it has been a privilege to be an Ambassador for its Children’s Hospice for so many years,” said McKibbin, who is set to compete in the Pro-am event.

“The NI Open promises to be another sensational week of golf at Galgorm and I hope the Hospice raises much-needed funds, while spectators enjoy some golfing fun with all the activities planned at the ‘Wee Course’ from Thursday to Sunday at Galgorm.”

NI Hospice provides specialist palliative care for over 4,000 babies, children and adults every year. NI Hospice has an adult In-Patient Unit, Somerton House, which opened in 1981; and a children’s In-Patient Unit, Horizon House, which opened in 2001.

Over 90 per cent of NI Hospice care is provided across the country, in people’s homes by seven Community Teams. In 2022/23, Hospice’s Specialist Community Nurses provided care and support for a total of 2,698 patients and their families in the comfort of their own homes, surrounded by their loved ones.

In the same period the Hospice also cared for over 317 babies and children as well as their parents, siblings, grandparents, and extended family. More than £20 million is required for Northern Ireland Hospice to deliver its services each year. The majority of funding comes from the generosity and kindness of the local community.

The inaugural NI Open was played at Galgorm in 2010 and evolved into one of the most popular events on the Challenge Tour, breaking all attendance records. This year promises to be just as popular with FREE ENTRY all week and registration for free tickets is available HERE.

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