Ja's Honorary Consul in Uruguay Andres Elissalde lauds Sandals LatAm golf tourney and foundation

By August 30, 2023
Arlenes Garcia (left), director of sales and marketing for Latin America; Sandal’s national manager of golf sales Jake Coldiron (second left), and Jonathan Newnham, director of golf operations at Sandals Golf and Country Club, share a photo opportunity with the winning team from Uruguay led by Jorge Andres Elissalde (fourth left) at Sandals Ochi Beach resort recently. Arlenes Garcia (left), director of sales and marketing for Latin America; Sandal’s national manager of golf sales Jake Coldiron (second left), and Jonathan Newnham, director of golf operations at Sandals Golf and Country Club, share a photo opportunity with the winning team from Uruguay led by Jorge Andres Elissalde (fourth left) at Sandals Ochi Beach resort recently. contributed

As the Honorary Consul of Jamaica in Uruguay, Jorge Andres Elissalde felt it only fitting that he made the trip down to the Caribbean Island to not only enjoy the sun, fun and excitement, but also to play his part in assisting Sandals Foundation to give back to its community.

Elissalde was among the over 70 individuals that made the trek from various countries to strut their stuff in the Sandals Latin American Travel Agents Golf Tournament, which is used a driver for participants to experience and, later sell Jamaica as the destination of choice for sports and tourism.

As fate would have it, Elissalde's team which included Jorge Barbut, Jose Cabrera and Leonardo Curutchague, finished tops at the four-man scramble format, two-day event with a final score of 60 over nine holes. They scored 33 on the first and 27 on the final day of the competition.

They won ahead of the Brazilian team of Breno Luz, Ricardo Dantas, Denilson Milan, and Raphael Abreu, which scored 28 on the first day and 37 on the final day to finish five-strokes behind on 65 at the Sandals Golf and Country Club.

"I am very proud to be the Honorary Consul of Jamaica and I am happy that we had the chance to come here and not only participate in the Sandals tournament, but also to see what the foundation is doing because we know they do a lot of good for the people here, especially in the Ocho Rios region. So, it's always a pleasure to play our part and we also won which is double the excitement," Elissalde told SportsMax.tv. 

Besides the friendly competition between others from Mexico, Panama, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, among others, Elissalde reiterated the serious side of the golf tournament, as the side shows raised US $316 for the Sandals Foundation which might seem a small figure but will go a far way in helping those in need.

Mauricio Fuerte (Closet to the Pin Men), Antonio Perez Verdia Rubio (Longest Drive Men), and Taryn Stanton (Longest Drive Women), won those side events.

Beyond that, the travel agents also brought with them books and other school supplies to be distributed in the community.

"Jamaica is a destination that not many Uruguayans know, it is a beautiful country with beautiful people and so doing this (tournament) is one way of basically opening the doors so those Uruguayans can experience Jamaica through us and then they will be more eager to come and visit," Elissalde reasoned.

"So what Sandals is doing is very good, it's a mix of sports and tourism and, more importantly, the fact that they use these golf tournaments to raise funds for the foundation is incredible and giving back is always something that many people gravitate towards. So again, we are very happy to play our part," he added.

During his visit, Elissalde also paid a courtesy call on Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Meanwhile, Jake Coldiron, national manager of golf sales, expressed delight with the outcome of the tournament which is one of three travel-advisers’ event staged annually by the resort to promote the island as a golfing destination, while giving the resort chain’s sales reps personal experiences of its properties and Jamaica’s varied attractions.

The positive spinoff from the event has propelled Sandals to stage a World Travel Advisors Golf Tournament set for Emerald Bay, Bahamas, next year. Elissalde and his team are expected to be a part of that, along with those from the United States and Canada tournaments to come in September and October respectively. 

"My job is to help the travel advisors grow their business through golf and this year we actually had quite a few travel advisors that had never been to Jamaica, so the ultimate goal for them is to go back to their home country and sell Jamaica, sell Sandals and Beaches Resorts, and bring their clients down here," Coldiron said.

“The Sandals Foundation in general is also a very important part of Sandals Resorts and what is nice about it is that we as a company take it very seriously as far as ensuring that we give back not just in Jamaica but the entire Caribbean. We are a Caribbean-based company, and the ultimate goal is to take care of the Caribbean,” he noted.

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

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