BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
THE University of Virginia have introduced a golf scholarship named in honour of Zimbabwean golf sensation and Southern Africa Golf Hall of Fame member Lewis Chitengwa, who passed away in 2001.
The Lewis Chitengwa Golf Scholarship will be awarded every year to a deserving junior golfer around the world to help them pursue their tertiary education at the public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia, where the late Chitengwa excelled both in the classroom and on the golf course.
The late golfer’s father and legendary golf coach Lewis Muridzo-Chitengwa confirmed the establishment of the scholarship in an exclusive interview with The Sports Hub.
“The University of Virginia have started the Lewis Chitengwa Golf Scholarship in honour of his legacy,” he said.
“There are some people who were touched by the legacy that he left and decided to fund the scholarship but said they would want to remain anonymous. The scholarship is open to any talented golfer around the world who would want to play golf and study at the university. Obviously, as a family, we are very happy that Lewis continues to get recognition even 20 years after he passed away and we hope his legacy continues to inspire the next generation,” he said.
A 1998 graduate of the University of Virginia, where he majored in African American Studies, Lewis’ golf accomplishments are still well regarded throughout the world two decades after his death.
The establishment of the prestigious scholarship is the latest posthumous honour by the US University in honour of Chitengwa after they recently announced a new golf tournament named after him early next year
The inaugural Lewis Chitengwa Memorial takes place April 11-12 and will form part of the Virginia Cavaliers’ 2021-2022 schedule which includes 10 regular-season team events in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
It will be the second high profile tournament held in the Zimbabwean’s honour after the Canadian Tour held the first event to celebrate his life in 2003, two years after his death.
Virginia men’s golf coach Bowen Sargent, said the new tournament was meant to honour the golfing legacy of the late Chitengwa, who was a standout player for the institution from 1995 to 1998.
“We are proud to announce the Lewis Chitengwa Memorial tournament and to honour his golfing legacy,” Sargent said in a statement on the university’s website.
“The event in April will be the first major men’s competition on the redesigned Davis Love course at Birdwood. To have the tournament honour Lewis and all that he did for our sport will make for a very special event.