ECEF bursary funds six ethnically diverse managers to attend MDP  

The European Club Education Foundation have awarded their annual Ethnically Diverse Managers Bursary for the 2023/24 season.  

The bursaries, which is funded by The R&A, have been awarded to six recipients to allow them to participate in the CMAE Management Development Programme, which is widely recognised as the leading educational programme for prospective club managers.

The recipients were Rebecca Nnachor, David Okach, James Thande Gathu, Maryem Alaoui and Sheif Yusuf and Majd Najada. Five of the six recipients opted to use their bursary to attend the recently held MDP part 1 course in Dubai.

Rebecca Nnachor, recipient of bursary commented “As a proud recipient of this esteemed Bursary, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to R&A and CMAE for recognizing Ethnically Diverse Managers in the industry through programs in club management. Your continued support of ethnically diverse individuals in the industry is truly making a difference and has made a significant impact in my life.

Throughout the program, I was able to connect with seasoned experts, mentors, and like-minded delegates. These connections and interactions have expanded my horizons. The program exposed me to various club management concepts and practical tools that have equipped me to tackle challenges more effectively. I must highlight that the learning environment created by the facilitators and fellow attendees was conducive. The Knowledge and insights I gained will undoubtedly help me in my personal and professional development.”.

James Gathu, Thande said “The bursary enabled me to visit a new country, met new people and made new connections. I now have a friend from Italy, another one from Hong Kong, another from China ,another from Morocco, another from Russia, another from Ireland and very many from Dubai.

I say many many thanks again to C.M.A.E for facilitating the ECEF bursary through the ethically diverse category. Apart from making new friends, I mingled with like minded professionals in the Golf industry. I realized that  clubs share challenges across the industry.”

Majd Najda commented “For me being selected for this award is a validation of countless hours of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice that went into it. It’s a moment of overwhelming joy and gratitude, a reminder that anything is possible with passion, perseverance, and faith. I’d like to express my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the ECEF and the R&A. Receiving this award is a tremendous honor, and I am deeply humbled and grateful for their acknowledgement. I feel privileged and overjoyed.”

Sheif Yusuf added “I am thrilled and deeply honored to have been selected as a recipient of the prestigious Ethnically Diverse Managers in Golf Bursary. Words cannot express how grateful I am to the judging panel comprised of ECEF and R&A officials for their unwavering belief in my potential.

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the R&A for generously funding this bursary and providing me with the invaluable opportunity to attend the MDP 1 Course organized by CMAE. It is an incredible privilege to be supported in my professional development by such esteemed organizations. I am genuinely excited about the possibilities this course will bring, as it promises to enhance my skills and propel my career forward in the golf industry.”

For more information on the ECEF visit

Pictured l-r: Majd Najada, James Thande, Rebecca Nnachor, Sheif Yusuf