Brigadier General Quamrul Islam, General Secretary of Bangladesh Professional Golfers’ Association, speaks of the steps taken by the new committee to make the organization a fully functional one — one that can take Bangladesh’s golf way forward.
Q: The new BPGA committee has spent its first year in charge. How has the overall experience been to you as the general secretary of the organization?
A: We set a target after taking over at BPGA. We prepared a prospective plan about how we want to see golf in 2030 and beyond. We set three timeframes: short-term, mid-term and long-term. One of the short-term goals was to host 12-14 tournaments each year, and we have successfully done that. We hosted 19 tournaments which earned sponsorship money and we distributed that among the golfers.
This created a tendency of new players joining in. We had 111 professional players a year ago, but now we have 140 pros.
We have a target of finding lady professional golfers. We have opened a lady wing so that we can have at least one lady professional by 2021.
We have some constraints that we need to work with age-group players, which is something under the jurisdiction of the BGF. So we need to work together in that aspect.
We have come here with a mandate and we feel if we cannot perform properly, we should leave.
Q: How is the feedback of sponsors?
A: I firmly believe that with the small pool of players that we have, we have enough facilities and enough patronization. A national level hockey tournament usually has a budget of 7-8 lac taka while an amateur golf tournament at Kurmitola has a budget of 35-40 lac taka. We need to further expedite this patronization. We are getting positive response from the sponsors. We are creating networks. We have been able to establish Savar and Chittagong as alternative venues. We have media partners, publication partner, and radio partners.
Q: How about training facilities for golfers?
A: Training professionals is not a responsibility of the federation. Federation’s responsibility is to train amateurs. However, we feel the need for a dedicated gym for the golfers. This is one of our short-term targets.
Q: Say something about Siddikur Rahman’s latest achievement?
A: Siddikur is our icon. He is the only Bangladeshi to get into Olympics on merit. We thought his career was taking a nosedive, but he is proving us wrong with his discipline, dedication and desire to do well. I’m sure he will serve us for long. Our challenge however is to find new talents.
Q: What challenges do you feel as a general secretary?
A: I don’t take anything as challenge. There was nothing at the BPGA when we came. There was hardly any documentation and very few tournaments being held. So we have tried to sort things out and we take these things as steps in our work process. Now we are hosting number of tournaments and working on other areas. I feel those who will come here next should be volunteers willing to spend time at BPGA.
Q: How do you maintain your schedule regarding your tight schedule in other aspects of life?
A: Yes, that is a challenge. I need to give time to my business, have to adjust my meetings. I have always been busy throughout my life, so I’m used to it.
Q: TheGolfHouse magazine is stepping on to third year. What is your impression about the magazine?
A: The magazine is the first golf publication in our country, so it’s unique. I think it is giving good service to golf.