Golf Australia has completed a coup with the appointment of Chyloe Kurdas to the position of national female participation manager.
Kurdas, who will begin the new role on Monday 9 April, has had a high-profile role in helping develop the thriving AFLW competition.
Bringing with her more than 20 years’ experience in leading significant cultural change and building gender equality, Kurdas is excited by her new challenge.
“It’s a fascinating time for women and girls in sport and there’s a real appetite for change and development, so I think it’s really important for golf not to get left behind and get on the front foot,” Kurdas said.
“I feel like I have unique `IP’ in my head about growing opportunities for girls and women in sport and that it would be a waste not to use it.
“The role with Golf Australia I’m sure will make me feel challenged and that’s what I look forward to.”
Kurdas’ appointment is a key component of GA’s Vision 2025: The future of women and girls in golf, launched during the recent ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.
At 42 and with a keen interest in golf but not a club membership, Kurdas said the Vision 2025 documents “spoke to her”.
“I love to play, but I can also see some of the aspects of the sport that are holding it back in many women’s minds,” Kurdas said.
“I can empathise with their thoughts and all golf facilities need to actively ask themselves how they make women feel included and engaged, because without that we’re up against it.
“It’s a really important time with so many different sports and other aspects of life competing for women and girls now – golf has to be part of that movement.
“We are uniquely placed in that there’s not just a high-performance aspect to golf, there’s also a strong leisure and recreation component and it’s a lifetime sport.
“We just haven’t maximised golf’s potential yet – the ability to use the power and appeal the sport has to so many people.”
Kurdas lectures at Melbourne Business School and Melbourne University and is known to many as an expert commentator and analyst on AFLW across several mediums.
Her most recent sport-specific role was as AFL Victoria female football development manager where she was responsible for leading the growth of female participation that culminated in the establishment of the ground-breaking AFLW competition.
She was also one of 17 women globally chosen to participate in a five-week mentorship with the LPGA in Florida, provided professional development for LPGA game development staff and was involved with strategy development around the Navistar Classic LPGA tournament.
GA golf development director Cameron Wade said Kurdas’ appointment capped an exhaustive three-month process.
“It was extremely important to us to find the best possible person for such a vital role for the sport – and in Chyloe we are confident we’ve done that from among a list of very strong candidates,” Wade said.
“Chyloe has the skills and experience to lead the implementation of the Vision 2025 whole of sport blueprint with a focus on cultural change.
“Our collective goal is to transform the game of golf in Australia into one that is highly engaging and fully inclusive for women and girls across all levels and we are very appreciative of the R&A’s leadership through assisting with the development of Vision 2025 and also partly funding the role for a three year period."
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