10 May 2021 | Participation | Women and girls |

Girls' camps a school holiday hit

by Golf Australia

Victorian girls camp at Tocumwal Golf and Bowls Club

Close to a hundred girls fell in love with golf last month.

And the reason for it? 

New friendships forged at girls golf camps.

Golf Australia hosted camps in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia for eight-year-old to sixteen-year-old girls during the April school holidays and they were a resounding success.

“Feedback from the parents and girls was very positive,” said Simon Weston, Golf Australia’s golf development manager in Tasmania.

It is a great way to spend the school holidays.

Group photo at Victorian girls camp

And the 30 Victorian girls who headed to Tocumwal Golf and Bowls Club on the Murray River for their three-day camp definitely agree.

“They cannot wait for the next camp,” said Megan Carr, Golf Australia’s female engagement manager in Victoria.

They had “the most amazing time” making new friends and improving their golf skills, Carr said.

The girls came from Melbourne, Mildura, Shepparton, Warrnambool and many other parts of Victoria to be with their fellow golfing girls. 

Despite the city and country mix, the ice quickly broke as the girls dived into learning new skills on the course and the range, and team building, mindfulness and leadership sessions.

“The girls all seemed to be very happy. Lots of smiles and laughter throughout activities and during dinner,” said Carr.

South Australian girls camp mini golf night

Similar themes emerged from South Australia’s three-day camp at West Beach Parks golf course in Adelaide.

Twenty-one girls stayed for the entire camp, while 35 girls attended the mini golf night, and all were thrilled to have made new friends and develop their golfing skills.

None more so than 8-year-old Ava Giles, who has participated in Kooyonga Golf Club’s MyGolf Girls program since she was five.

“I enjoyed playing the 15 holes on the Executive course and I met Kayla, Isabella and Ava,” Giles said.

The South Australian girls also came from far and wide to be a part of the camp.

12-year-old Shylah Sanderson from Tintinara, roughly halfway between Adelaide and the Victorian border, attended the camp in 2019 and returned this year with her younger sister Huriana.

“I saw a few girls two years go but I didn’t really know the girls so it’s great to make lots of friends, I learnt so much stuff and I’m happy to come here again,” Sanderson said.

Another 12-year-old, Tegan Siekman, plays at The Vines of Reynella and attended her first camp.

“I only knew two girls before the camp but have now met six or so new friends,” Siekman said.

If not for the camp, “I would probably be at home watching TV,” she said.

MyGolf Girls program at Royal Hobart Golf Club
Young golfers at a recent MyGolf Girls program run at Royal Hobart Golf Club.

In Tasmania, 32 girls from across the Apple Isle attended the one-day camp at Royal Hobart.

It was the first time a girls camp experience has been offered in Tasmania and “girl’s participation is booming across our state with over 40% of MyGolfers being female, so this camp is very timely,” said Simon Weston.

The girls had the perfect role models to follow with three state team representatives volunteering at the camp.

While the camp’s success means that there will be “more opportunities like this are now on the table for our Tassie girls,” said Weston.

And for him, it was also a family affair.

“My daughter was one of the girls who attended and at the end of the day she said she loves golf because she can spend the day with me and her friends. This was just the icing on the cake for me!” he said.

The next lot of camps will take place in the Northern Territory in the mid-year school holidays and in Queensland in September.

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