It’s more than 4000km from Gove to Royal Melbourne, but thanks to inspirational teenager Katelyn Rika, they’re effectively neighbours.
Rika and her family are the driving forces behind making the Gove Country Golf Club one of the standout MyGolf facilities in Australia, remarkably putting the remote Arnhem Land outpost in the same conversation as courses such as the Melbourne Sandbelt classic.
Gove boasts a thriving junior program, including a phenomenal 54 per cent female participation rate, with many of the youngsters striving to emulate their homegrown hero, Rika, who’s already a Community Instructor.
But despite the 16-year-old’s seemingly ideal lot in life, her challenges remain many.
Rika, who has already represented the Northern Territory at countless tournaments, is battling to access the resources she needs to take the next steps in her promising golfing journey.
One such issue is only being able to see her coach Graham Bolton, in Cairns, four times a year.
“I missed my chance to see him this term because of a cyclone that was supposed to come, but we always keep in touch,” Rika told Inside The Ropes this week.
Such challenges sound foreign to many other Aussie teens who can take for granted the simple things such as access to courses that have groundstaff, with Gove kept only by volunteers.
“Seeing these (other) courses definitely motivates me more to push myself and experience more,” she said.
“It’s amazing. I’ve barely seen any throughout the world … and I haven’t seen the half of them yet, I’m really excited to get to know them.”
To hear more of Rika’s inspiring story, or to give her a helping hand, click HERE.