South Africa: SA golf legend nominated for Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – South African golfing legend, Ernie Els, has been nominated for the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award.

The ceremony which will celebrate and honor leagues, teams, individuals and members of the sporting community that are using the power of sports to make a positive impact on society, will take place in Los Angeles, US, on 11 July, 2017.

Laila Ali – the late champion’s daughter – will host the event. The winner will be able to direct a US$100,000 grant from ESPN to the qualified charity related to the award-winning humanitarian efforts.

In 2009, Els and his wife, Liezl, established the Els for Autism Foundation shortly after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. The Els have donated millions of dollars of their own money, and through dedicated fundraising, they opened the first components of The Els Center of Excellence.

The Center, based in Florida, serves the local, national and international autism communities and is game-changing resource in the field. To date, his programmess have served nearly 4,000 individuals with Autism from 13 countries, focusing on education, global outreach, therapy, research, recreation and adult services.

PANA reports that Els became South Africa’s first post-apartheid sports champion when he won the US Open Major just two months after the historic April, 1994 elections. Moments after he received his trophy in New York, he received a phone call from world statesman Nelson Mandela congratulating him.

And when Els won the British Open at Royal Lytham 18 years later, he paid a moving tribute to Mandela. Acknowledging that he had been part of a generation of millions of South Africans who had grown up in the Apartheid era, and then endured the painful transition to democracy, Els said: “I just felt he's been so important for us being where we are today as a nation and as sports people.”

The two remained close friends until Mandela’s death in 2013.
-0- PANA CU/VAO 19June2017

19 june 2017 14:38:37

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