17 Feb 2023 | Women and girls |
Many great opportunities for Scholarship Girls at Vic Open
by Golf Australia
The Australian Golf Foundation (AGF) not only offers girls aged 10-16, year-long coaching, membership, and friendship at local clubs, it also offers special and unique opportunities as part of the curriculum.
For 52 scholarship recipients representing 23 golf clubs, their special opportunity came at last week’s Vic Open at 13th Beach.
Eleven-year-old Chelsea Cummins, of Curlewis Golf Club, was selected to play in the pro-am event in the build-up to the Open, in the team of NEXTGEN, with John Walters, the Group CEO, who are the AGF Principal Sponsor for the Junior Girls Scholarship Program for the past two years along with one of the Vic Open’s competing professionals.
“Chelsea played exceptionally well, I wish I had a swing as smooth as hers!” said Walters.
“I think myself and team-members were more nervous than Chelsea, as we had the biggest gallery following us around the 18 holes - her entire extended family of 8-10 people! They were rightfully very proud!”
Continuing the fun on the Saturday, 52 girls including Chelsea, participated in a round of nine holes at 13th Beach’s par 3 course, before hearing from 2013 Vic Open champion Stacey Peters and fellow golf professional Steph Na about their journeys into golf. The girls then spent the afternoon watching their heroes compete in the Vic Open.
“It was fantastic to see smiling faces, parents swapping numbers and girls arranging to meet again,” said Jayne Young, Golf Australia’s Golf Relationship Officer for the North-West district of Victoria.
“This is what golf is all about – connecting girls with each other, and role models, to inspire them to continue with the sport.”
Tiffany Cherry, Head of Women and Girls Engagement at Golf Australia was thrilled with the outcome.
“The buzz of excitement was palpable, and to hear from both scholarship girls and their parents about the impact the scholarship program is having, was truly moving and inspiring. These experiences will stay with these girls forever,” said Cherry.
Program Founder and AGF Board Member, Bonnie Boezeman added: “This was a dream come true!
“Several parents came up to explain how the scholarship program has changed their daughters and their families lives forever.
“I loved watching all the girls with their families head on to the 13th Beach course after their 9-holes to cheer the professional women players and follow them hole by hole. A well-known professional I know texted me and said how wonderful it was to see the sea of yellow shirts following them.”
For principal sponsor, NEXTGEN Group, the experience reaffirmed their involvement.
“We are proud to support a long-term program that aims to increase the participation rate of women in golf, their self-esteem and confidence, and teach life skills in the process,” said Walters.
“The NEXTGEN Group’s heritage and values in advancing women in the workplace and our focus on diversity and inclusion, aligns perfectly to supporting Bonnie’s, the AGF’s and now Golf Australia’s vision and innovative approach to supporting young girls into golf.”
Australian Golf Foundation is the national foundation for golf in Australia. The AGF supports Golf Australia’s vision to grow golf by investing in targeted initiatives to inspire all Australians to enjoy and play the game. Find a local scholarship program near you. Visit australiangolffoundation.org.au for further information.
Australian Golf Foundation is thrilled to partner with NEXTGEN Group as the principal partner of the AGF Scholarship Programme in 2022, with significant further support provided by Golf Australia, Golf Victoria, Victorian Golf Foundation, Golf Queensland, Golf South Australia, Golf Tasmania, Golf Western Australia, Western Australian Golf Foundation, Golf Northern Territory, Golf Management Australia, WPGA Tour of Australasia and PGA of Australia, as well as a number of additional generous private benefactors.
The scholarship program has come to fruition thanks to the foresight and generosity of Bonnie Boezeman AO, Director of the Australian Golf Foundation, who originally established the program at Killara Golf Club, NSW.
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