All sorts of waste can be found spread across our coasts, regardless of numerous efforts to raise public awareness. Often it’s more effective to incorporate a bit of fun to encourage a better public response. In this line of thought, Rogers Group launched its “We swing for our coast” campaign on the 13th of September 2017. The campaign forms part of a series of activities launched by Rogers on the occasion of the 3rd edition of the International Golf tournament AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.
This event will take place on the splendid Heritage Golf Club course in Bel Ombre from the 30th of November to the 3rd of December 2017. Co-sanctioned by the European Tour, the Asian Tour and the Sunshine Tour, this tournament will see the participation of 156 professional golfers.
One swing, one piece of waste collected – sums up the “We swing for our coast” campaign. This initiative creates the link between golf and the conservation of our marine environment. The concept is simple: the employees of Rogers and its subsidiaries were invited to practice their swing by making a tee off in a net specially designed for the purpose.
Introduction to golf
To give employees maximum opportunity to participate in the campaign, one-week stopovers were made in every subsidiary of the group. An electronic metre counted every swing. One could also follow the number of swings made online in real time. On average, 20 swings amount to approximately 1kg of collected waste.
In several aspects, this project took on a strong social dimension. For one, it offered employees the opportunity to discover and learn about golf with guidance from Ludovic Bax, a professional Mauritian golfer. On another level, We Swing for our Coast also had a precise environmental objective.
Marine environment protection
During the official campaign launch at Bagatelle, Philippe Espitalier-Noël, Chief Executive Officer of Rogers, stressed that “we need to think about the legacy we leave behind for our children. It’s important that we give more attention to preserving the beauty of our country.”
This campaign forms part of Rogers’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy. After offering support for HIV/AIDS prevention, Rogers actively engaged in protecting the environment and the marine ecosystem, in particular through launching the Respect our Coast programme. Several projects were implemented in the region of Bel Ombre, including a beach rehabilitation project and installing devices that help with mitigating the effects of coastal erosion in this zone. Through another project, Bis Lamer, the group raised awareness on marine and environmental issues to more than 10 000 schoolchildren.
At the launch of “We swing for our coast”, Rogers invited 27 year-old World Blind golf champion, Jeremy Poincenot. He was only 19 when he discovered that he had Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON), a rare disease that affects approximately 1 out of every 50 000 people in the world. The disease spread quickly and he lost complete eyesight in less than two months. However, this let down soon made way for an even stronger desire to live fully. It is this journey that Jeremy Poincenot shares in conferences in the United States and in Europe.
It’s the first time that Jeremy Poincenot made a speech so far away from his home. “I am honoured to be the ambassador of this campaign. I share the same ideals with Rogers, because we want to help the others,” the young golfer mentioned. During the launch, he spoke of the challenges that his blindness posed. However, a conviction lies within the American golfer: “We can all do something to improve the life of others. And We Swing for our Coast is the perfect example. With this inclusive campaign, Rogers allows his employees to be a part of the change.”