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Sporting greats on Olympic mission

March 13, 2014

International golf sponsor HSBC has assembled an elite panel of sporting champions to help Brazil's best young golfers prepare for the biggest challenge of their lives.

As the countdown to golf's return to the Olympics at Rio 2016 gathers pace, HSBC - headline sponsor of this week's $800,000 Brasil Champions event in São Paulo - has brought four sporting greats to the city to give Brazil's brightest golf prospects a masterclass in how to prepare for the biggest stage in world sport.

As part of its sponsorship of the tournament, HSBC has invited golf's former Open Champion Todd Hamilton to join football World Cup winner Roberto Rivelino, Olympic volleyball gold medallist Giovane Gavio and double world basketball champion Amaury Pasos.

The quartet will host a half day masterclass on physical and mental preparation for Olympic hopefuls Rafael Becker from São Paulo, Daniel Stapff from Curitiba, and Felipe Navarro from Rio de Janeiro. The trio, who are all aged 23, are playing in the Brasil Champions tournament, presented by HSBC, at São Paulo Golf Club (March 13-16). The tournament is part of the Tour, the developmental tour which represents the main opportunity to earn a place on the PGA Tour.

In 2013 HSBC brought South African golf legend Gary Player to São Paulo and this year sees the sponsor reaffirming its commitment to golf in Brazil by assembling this star-studded support team.

American golfer Hamilton, who won The Open Championship in 2004, said: "These three Brazilian players are preparing for what could be the greatest experience of their sporting lives and Brasil Champions is a great stepping stone towards Rio in two years' time.

"I've been lucky to have won the oldest major championship in golf and it's going to be great to spend time with Brazil's young hopefuls and of course three great champions who have reached the very top in their respective sports.

"Golf's return to the Olympics is fantastic news for the sport and will be an important catalyst for growth and development around the world, especially here in Brazil."

Giles Morgan, HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship & Events, added: "This is our fifth year supporting golf in Brazil and it feels like the countdown to Rio is now in full swing. We saw the potential of Brazil's young golfers last year and this year we want to help develop that further.

"As a global banking and financial services organisation, we pride ourselves on opening up a world of opportunities for people and we want to help Brazil maximize the Olympic opportunity - this is why we have sponsored this tournament on the Tour and why we have brought together this panel of sporting greats here in São Paulo.

"We wish these three young players all the best for the tournament and of course for their journey to Rio 2016. It promises to be a fascinating two years and we're with them every step of the way."

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