Ms Lyn Cooper and Mr Frank Gal have been elected to the Board of Golf NSW, replacing Mr John Robinson and Mr Darrell Watts.
Ms Cooper, from Belmont Golf Club near Newcastle, has been involved in the sport for most of her life, getting her first taste for the game as a teenager.
“I first played golf in high school, then had a few years off as you do,” she smiled. “I came back to it in my mid-twenties.”
After retiring in 2011, Ms Cooper said her love for the game blossomed and led her into the administration side of the sport at her home club.
“I joined the committee and then the board.”
Formerly an OH&S officer with Transgrid who oversaw the whole of NSW in her role, Ms Cooper said her election was a timely one for the greater Newcastle area.
“This is an excellent opportunity for Newcastle. We haven’t had any representation form the area on the Golf NSW board for quite some time, and I think it will be a catalyst for the sport in our region.
“It’s going to be great for us to have some direct liaison between Golf NSW and a lot of the smaller country clubs around.
Ms Cooper said she was thrilled to be joining the board at such a dynamic time and was looking forward to being part of shaping the organisation’s direction. She is hoping to see greater growth in the sport, including amongst juniors, and assisting participation levels of females both young and old to rise, which she says are vital to the long-term health of many affiliated clubs across the state.
“The way Golf NSW is moving forwards is very good. I think a lot of emphasis on today getting women and girls into golf, but it’s not just girls, it’s juniors. If we don’t focus on youth and get them coming through in a strong capacity, we won’t have a future for golf clubs.”
Mr Frank Gal returns to the Board after a two-year absence. Like Ms Cooper, he believes the focus of the board should be on growing the sport for the sake of its long-term health.
One of Australia’s most credentialled rules officials, Mr Gal said he returns to the board with a new perspective on where the sport is heading.
“I think the focus has got to be growing the game. All of the things spoken of today (at the forum) are relevant. There are a lot of opportunities for the sport ahead, but there are also a lot of hard decisions to make if we are to go forward.”
Mr Stuart Fraser, CEO of Golf NSW welcomed both to the Golf NSW Boards.
“Lyn and Frank will make outstanding contributions to the sport across the State.
“They have a lot of experience in their respective fields, and will add a fresh dimension to the board.”
Mr Fraser also thanked outgoing directors Mr John Robinson and Mr Darrell Watts for their contributions.
“Golf in this state is healthier for the contributions of both John and Darrell,” Mr Fraser added.