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Inaugural 'Auld Enemies Cup'

4th October 2011  

Event Supported by Golf Legend Gary Player and Scotland's First Minister

The inaugural "Auld Enemies" Cup golf match between Scotland and England will tee off this Friday (7 th Oct) at the Slaley Hall Resort in Northumberland in what is expected to be a fiercely fought battle over 3 days of unique competition.

For the first time ever, this competition, which has been organised and operated by the SDGP, will feature all the thrills and spills associated with the famous Ryder Cup battle. This will include a traditional foursome format on the opening day, fourball on Saturday with the winning team being crowned champions after the traditionally tense singles matches on Sunday.

Both the Scottish and English have spent weeks in training for this hugely competitive event. Both teams include players with various disabilities such as amputees, stroke and car accident victims, members who are blind and golfers with cerebral palsy. Team Scotland is captained by Jim Gales MBE (47), from Fife and England will be fronted by Graeme Robertson (48) from Berkshire who has MS.

But the rivalry between Scotland and 'The Auld Enemy" on the golf course is all in good humour as Jim Gales comments "This is the first ever pan-disability Ryder Cup style match between Scotland and England. Although its called the Auld Enemies Cup, we know a lot of the English team and the whole competition will be a good hearted affair, although I'm sure that everyone wants to go out and win their games. I know the banter and camaraderie will be great, especially when we 'send them hameward tae think again'!! Graeme Robertson is equally forthright. He said 'Although the English and Scottish players know each other well, the rivalry between the teams has been increasing as the date of the event approaches. If you thought the Calcutta Cup was fiercely fought, you ain't seen nothing yet. Let battle commence!!'

The event has received a lot of recognition from the professional game of golf including the endorsement of one of the best-known figures in the game's history, Gary Player. He said 'To the golfers, coaches and organizers I would like to send my best wishes to everyone participating in the inaugural Auld Enemies Cup, Scotland v England match. The key to hoisting the trophy is to believe in yourself - believe you can win and you will. I wish all of you the best of luck and hope that these events are truly memorable experiences for all'.

Also lending his support is Alex Salmond MSP and Scotland's First Minister. He said 'In politics, teams that win are usually positive and optimistic, and this team has those qualities in abundance and is an inspiration to us all." He continued "Best of luck to Team Scotland in this inaugural Auld Enemy clash. I look forward to learning of their progress and am confident they can build on the momentum and feel-good factor currently sweeping through the game as we gear-up for Gleneagles 2014."

Other messages of support and best wishes have come from the world of sport including former R&A Secretary Sir Michael Bonallack OBE, BBC golfing commentator Dougie Donnelly and keen golf enthusiast, TV personality and Glasgow Rangers Manager Ally McCoist.

The SDGP is governed and operated by disabled people and is the only group in Scotland which actively encourages and involves anyone of any age, with a disability, serious health problem or mobility issue who wishes to play golf. This includes amputees, the blind, the deaf, those with learning difficulties, downs syndrome, stroke and heart attack victims, wheelchair users and anyone with other similar issues. The DGS (England) operates a similar policy. In fact, the one thing that both teams can agree on is their passion for the game of golf and their enthusiasm for what promises to be one of the fiercest and most competitive sporting events in recent years.

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