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Bringing French flair to Chinese golf
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Together Bon and Barquez decided to go ahead with Bon's ambitious idea of establishing the Frasia Golf Center, a French golf school in China using qualified professional instructors. Their objective was to promote golf in China among both adults and children, with the additional hope in due course of identifying some stars of the future, both French and Chinese. Bon's involvement in research on sporting issues has helped the pair to structure their project along with both golf partners and the local Chinese sports authorities.

Their first step was to set-up a training base in Nanjing in 2006, followed in 2007 by a move into Shanghai. This year the school numbers about 100 children, operating on the same time-frame as the school year, and a similar number of adult students of all different nationalities. All are following individually-tailored training courses designed by Frasia's professional instructors.

With the twin objectives of promoting the game of golf in China – in particular among the Chinese themselves – and opening up the game of golf to the widest possible strata of society, partnerships have been signed with schools in France and the UK, and with sports associations such as Activ Kids. Frasia is delighted to have around a dozen young Chinese in its student body, some of whom took up the game at the tender age of three. Through their involvement with Frasia this gives the students the opportunity to play on a number of proper golf courses – not always the easiest thing to do in China!

Bon and some of the Frasia kids with Gregory Bourdy at the 2008 HSBC Champions in Shanghai. [Photo credit: David Ferguson]

Bon and some of the Frasia kids with Gregory Bourdy at the 2008 HSBC Champions in Shanghai. [Photo credit: David Ferguson]

The Frasia Golf Center's activities in golf coaching have won recognition from a wide range of official bodies: as a member of the Jiangsu Golf Association; from the Olympic Games Institute of Nanjing for the training of young students; its charitable efforts have been welcomed by HSBC; its work with trainees in sports and golf marketing in association with the University Institute of Technology of Nimes (IUT Nimes), and the highly-regarded Management School of Lyon (EM Lyon).

Frasia also plans to extend its activities among business clients through a series of courses, workshops and even competitions – prospects are bright after a first year that has won the Center a stream of glowing references.

Immediate plans for the future involve the consolidation of the training centers in Nanjing and Shanghai through an increase in the student body, in particular among the youngsters. An Open Day for the identification of potential future talent will be held in 2009, and it is hoped to find one or two young golfers who will benefit from sponsors' assistance to support their development.

For further information: www.frasiasport.com

(China.org.cn March 23, 2009)

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