Golf Australia

Young Victorians #DoingItForJarrod

The power of compassion and one simple question has young Keeley Marx doing simply extraordinary things.

As were many others, golf-loving Keeley felt her emotions stir when she watched Jarrod Lyle battle through the final gut-wrenching weeks of his life.

But when her father Darren played for the Marx family one of Lyle's final moving interviews during his third fight with leukemia, a fuse was lit in the incredibly benevolent and driven 14-year-old, who is also the female captain of the Victorian secondary school golf team.

The family was in tears listening to Jarrod's brave words, but from that dark hour came two incredibly enlightened words: "What if?"

"What if we do this, Dad?" Keely asked.

"What if we can support Jarrod by doing as much as we can?

"What if we ask Hutchy and Jo (state team managers David Hutchinson and Jo Charlton) to use the head covers and things like that?"

And from that, Darren said, "it just morphed".

"It started with me asking Keeley if she'd give up her beloved ladybird head cover which she has carried for the past three years because of Lexi Thompson and she said, `Of course I would'.

"She then suggested the whole state team get the Leuk head cover."
 

School Sport Victoria team with their Leuk The Duck headcovers
School Sport Victoria team with their Leuk The Duck headcovers

Darren and his wife Rochelle firstly asked the Victorian team management and then, with their blessing, sponsored the entire team to wear the head covers at next week's School Sport Australia Secondary School Championship at Bonville.

"That's where it started, but Keeley has pretty much just run with it since then," Darren said.

Through the hashtag #DoingItForJarrod, Keeley sparked an Instagram outpouring of support and funding.

"The whole 'doing it' things just means we wanted to be out there and let Jarrod know that we're doing it for him, trying to win, trying to play well," Keeley said.

From there, Keeley asked that she and Jasper Stubbs, the Victorian boys' captain next week, be allowed to make a speech to promote Challenge at the opening ceremony in Coffs Harbour.

"We're really grateful to get the chance and we've made our own little speech telling them (their fellow competitors) what we want to achieve and how we would like them to help us," Keeley said.

"We're trying to ask everyone to wear a little bit of yellow or Leuk the Duck badge they could wear just to show their support of Jarrod."

But there's more.

Keeley and Darren approached her club, The Heritage, in Melbourne's outer east, and asked the pro shop to flood the pro shop with Leuk merchandise, a request to which they graciously agreed.

The members then generously agreed to forego their prize pool for club competitions with Leuk head covers becoming the prize and money raised going directly to Challenge.

To the Marx clan's delight and Heritage members' credit, those acts alone have raised almost $4,000 for the cause.

Through her own social media, Keeley has generated almost $1,000, including a friend of the family pouring in $200 for just two Leuk pins for he and his son.

This Friday, after Keeley arranged sponsorship of food and drinks, her Yarra Valley Grammar School will hold a sausage sizzle with all money generated going to Challenge, as well.

The generous sponsor, Paul Fenech at McGrath Real Estate, asked only in exchange that Keeley take him out for a playing lesson at Heritage.

All from a simple "what if".

So what if Keeley was asked to become an official ambassador for Challenge at some point to continue to honour Lyle?

"Whether I am or not, I won't stop helping," she said.

"I reckon I'd like to, though, so that I know I"m helping people in life."


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