Date: October 10, 2007

Indigenous Championships underway in Australia’s heartland

Australia&aposs finest indigenous golfers are at the Alice Springs Golf Club for the eighth Australian Indigenous Championships. The 72-hole stroke play tournament is officially endorsed and supported by Golf Australia and is seen as an important step to continue growing levels of golf participation in all communities throughout Australia. Golf Australia&aposs Manager of Game & Club Development Nick Green said, “These championships aim to develop a national voice for the indigenous golf community, a voice that will assist in shaping future national championships and development programs.” While the championships are largely focused on participation, there is a high standard of golf on show and plenty of incentive for the players involved. The winner of both the men&aposs and women&aposs championships will be granted an exemption into the Australian Amateur Championships to be held in Adelaide next April, or a tournament of equivalent standard. Shaun Nannup is back to defend his title, as is Dorothy Rodney in the women&aposs division, while highly-talented James Lally is the youngest player competing in the championships at just 13 years of age. Golf Australia has recognised the event on its National Schedule and has provided staff to help run and oversee the championships as they are contested throughout the week. Nick Green continued, “While the popularity of golf is growing rapidly throughout indigenous communities, there are not many opportunities for locals to get a &aposhands on&apos experience and learn more about the game. “So in addition to sanctioning and supporting the Indigenous Championships, Golf Australia is conducting clinics and local school visits to continue introducing golf to communities that would otherwise receive little to no exposure to the game.” Also at the championships, an interim Indigenous Golf Advisory Board met for the first time. Dorothy Rodney (WA), Mark Williams (Vic), Allan Liddle (Vic), Matt Majid (NT) and Barry Renshaw (NT) met at Alice Springs Golf Club to discuss various issues including the venue for next year&aposs Indigenous Championships and the process of selecting the full Indigenous Golf Advisory Board. A recommendation for the 2008 Indigenous Championships will be announced at the end of the week, while a full board with representation from each State and Territory is expected to be formed within the next six months after the group has had an opportunity to communicate with industry stakeholders throughout Australia.