Media release: New partnership between South Western Golf Association and Geelong Community Foundation

Geelong Advertiser People Page April 1, 2022
Geelong Advertiser People Page April 1, 2022

Not only does golf bring people together, it’s also a catalyst for giving back. This philosophy is at the core of the new partnership between the South Western Golf Association (SWGA) and Geelong Community Foundation (the Foundation).

A chance meeting at the Barwon Heads Golf Club between Hayden Torney, the Foundation’s former Chairperson and Graeme Mathers, SWGA Board Member and Chair of Men’s Golf Operations, sparked the beginning of this journey. “Had Hayden not been there, it may not have ever happened. It was just the right place, right time,” shares Mathers. The serendipity of this meeting, combined with SWGA’s desire to support the community, led to the development of a Named Sub Fund with the Foundation that will assist with funding grants to community organisations into the future.

“The Foundation has provided almost $11,000,000 in grants to local community organisations since inception 22 years ago. The philosophy of the SWGA regarding inclusion and diversity aligns perfectly and their support will help us grow the amount we grant to the community. The partnership will also build, amongst golfers across the region, the knowledge and understanding of the Foundation and the many organisations we fund,” shares Gail Rodgers, CEO of the Foundation.

SWGA would like to grow the community involvement within its 26 clubs and 12,500 members, so it was a natural fit to partner with the Foundation. “One of our aims this year is to get out there the work of the Foundation. So, when we run an event or try and raise money, every golfer understands the work of the Foundation, who they’re supporting – we think that’s really important,” explains Georgie Sanders, SWGA President. “We also want clubs to start running an event a year, where the funds they raise go to the SWGA Sub Fund. We want to build up that Sub Fund as quickly as we can,” adds Mathers.

The Foundation prides itself on collaborating with organisations that value inclusivity, with SWGA no exception. “We’re about all golfers – whether they’re able or not,” explains Mathers. SWGA is dedicated to providing golf opportunities across genders, age groups and abilities in Victoria’s south-west region. “We want to create a variety of different events that will cater for everybody,” explains Sanders. “Whether it’s someone going to mini-golf, right through to the elite golfer, the all-abilities golfer, the juniors – it’s a sport for life.”

A launch event for the new community partnership took place on Friday 18th March at Curlewis Golf Club, with nine holes of golf at 3pm followed by a reception.