I never promised perfection…

I took on the mantle of leadership to contribute my quota… Says Grace Ihonvbere as she bows out with grace as Lady Captain

The first thing that comes to mind when you set eyes on Grace Ihonvbere who bowed out with grace as the Lady Captain of the IBB Golf Club Abuja over the weekend is her sense of Style and youthfulness. The 53year old adds style to everything she does and has certainly added style to the game of Golf in Nigeria.

Her one year tenure as Lady Captain of the IBB Golf Club Lady section brought in new energy, flare and style to the sport. Even the dressing of the ladies to the regular parties improved a great deal compared to past years.

I never promised perfection for I am not perfect, rather I took on the mantle of leadership to contribute my quota and build on the achievements of previous lady captains, these were her words as she presented her last speech as Lady Captain.

Even as she hoped she had made everyone who believed in her proud she thanked her critics for keeping her on her toes. In her words: “For my critics, thank you for keeping me on my toes… I hope that the little that my committee and I have done in this one year will encourage you to have a broader and more accommodating perspective on our beautiful game of golf.

She also did not fail to acknowledge her husband, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, for giving her wings to fly and supporting her all the way.

It has been an amazing year, filled with unforgettable memories, new friends made; lessons learnt that would follow me throughout my lifetime…

During her tenure, Grace led a team of 10 to Uganda for the Uganda ladies open. She also led 18 women to Malaga Spain where they played on two Flamingo and Alferini Golf Courses.

For the 20th IBB Ladies Amateur Golf Championships which took place 8-11th February, 2018 Grace attracted players from 9 countries – Uganda, Sweden, Swaziland, Ghana, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia, and several clubs within Nigeria.

Grace also displayed her knowledge of the sport when she won the Lady Captain’s Inaugural Tournament that held 20th May 2017 to usher in the tenure of the lady Captain (Grace) and her committee members.

She has also won other tournaments which includes the 19th IBB Ladies Close Golf Championship tournament which is open to only female members of IBB Golf Club.

She attracted a lot of sponsors both corporate and individual like has never been done in the club…The list of her achievements goes on and on…

Her outgoing ceremony was quite remarkable with most members in attendance and dignitaries from outside Abuja. It started with a tournament during the day and a gala at night where awards were presented to winners.

Governor Gaius Obaseki of Edo State was present, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Major General IBM Haruna, amongst other dignitaries.

Golf is not a sport. It’s a way of life. Live it. Love it.

While describing her style of leadership, one of her silent admirers also in the Lady section noted that: “she was never seen to be all over the place parading herself as the Lady Captain but she was achieving results no one has ever recorded in the history of the club. She assigned different duties to different people and results were coming in.

Prof. Julius Ihonvbere in a goodwill message noted that it was her dream to contribute her quota to the club as Lady Captain and she has done well. “…I had no doubt as to your capacity to deliver. Your new ideas have enriched the Club. Your courage and vision showed that you had a plan. Your response to challenges and tough times showed your maturity and capacity to manage people”, very kind words indeed from her husband.

Ikhide recalled when Grace said, “There comes a point where progression as a golfer is so slow and difficult that it can take months or years to improve”. “This could be applied to many aspects if not all other aspects and walks of life, and it shows the value of commitment and perseverance in the face of adversity”.

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