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Swedish pro golfer sells shares in himself

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Swedish pro golfer sells shares in himself
11:40 CEST+02:00
The Local catches up with 22-year-old Swedish golf pro Alexander Björk, Sweden's first sportsman – and the world's first golfer – to be listed on a stock exchange.

Björk, ranked three among Sweden's golfers under 23, turned pro straight after graduating from golfing high school in Växjö, south central Sweden. During his career he has so far won eight gold medals, seven silvers and as many bronzes in a total of 153 competitions.

Interested investors can now buy shares in Björk through a Swedish sport investment site called Trade in Sport, in a venture that the company hopes will make it easier for athletes to make a living from their sport.

The Local: So, how does it feel to be Sweden's first sportsman – and the world's first golfer – to be listed on a stock exchange?

Alexander Björk: It feels good although I don't think about it too much, I just try to train as hard as I can. It is very helpful for me when it comes to training and competitions.

TL: Who came up with the idea and how does it work?

AB: Well, I was approached by a guy called Claes Homström, who heads a company called Trade in Sports, and it was his idea from the beginning. How it works is that people go in on their webpage where they can purchase shares in me. The money will go to my training and competition expenses and investors then later get a share in any future prize money I receive.

TL: In what way does this help you?

AB: I get money for training camps abroad and competition expenses so that I can put all my efforts into the sport. These things cost a lot of money so it is very helpful to get a contribution.

TL: And what do you get as an investor?

AB: If all goes the way we hope, shareholders will actually make money from their investment as they will get a cut from any potential prize money I earn. They will also receive information on the website and through my blog and Twitter of how I am doing and what is happening in my golf career.

TL: And why should people invest in you?

AB: I work very hard to achieve my goals and should hopefully soon be out on the European tour.

In his last competition, the Landskrona Masters, Björk, who plays for Växjö Golf Club, finished fourth and took home 18,000 kronor ($2,736).

Next week he will be competing in Denmark and after that awaits the European Tour qualifier in Stoke, UK.

So far Björk hasn't hit the links competitively in the United States, but said recently in an interview with daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) that he is hoping that he will get a chance to take part in a few competitions while training there over the winter.

Rebecca Martin

Follow Rebecca on Twitter here.

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