Ballina Women’s Veterans Golf Club’s Elva Colledge worked tirelessly to secure a veterans’ tournament in June.
Ballina Women’s Veterans Golf Club’s Elva Colledge worked tirelessly to secure a veterans’ tournament in June. Jay Cronan

Elva's sweet success

IF YOU don't ask for something, generally it will not be offered, and when refused something so dear to your heart, it might be easy to just give up.

Not so with Ballina's Elva Colledge. Women's veterans' golf is dear to her heart and for the past decade she has knocked on the door for a tournament in the region.

Finally she kicked that door off its hinges and as a result Ballina Golf Club will host a two-day country tournament in June.

Logistically it has taken concessions from the men - Ballina men's veterans play on Mondays - to have two clear days for the women's tournament.

"This is a first for the Ballina Veteran Ladies," a jubilant Colledge told The Northern Star.

"We needed two days. The men's vets play on Monday, so I applied to the club."

The men's veterans' tournaments usually run for a week, Monday to Friday, with the Ballina club to hold its third consecutive tournament in July.

The Veteran Women Golfers' Association of New South Wales has gazetted Monday, June 18 and Tuesday 19 as the dates for one of the three Country NSW two-day events.

"The VWGA gave us those dates and the club has been very co-operative," Colledge said.

"And the men said that they will help with spotting (the ball) and different things on the two days.

"We've done a lot of planning ahead. We've got quite a few sponsors and people who will help prizes for raffles," she said.

With more than 70 women's veterans clubs state-wide, Colledge is expecting a full complement of golfers to enter.

"We have sent brochures to 30 metropolitan and 40 country clubs. There should be a lot of visitors," she said.

Entries are forecast to exceed the number of places available for the four-ball-best-ball round on the Monday and the Stableford on the Tuesday but there will be no favouritism.

"There's no 'you're a mate of mine I'll put you in'," Colledge said.

Colledge, a life member of the Ballina Women's Veterans club, has been involved in the game since she was 36 and has worked on securing this tournament for almost 15 years.

"It has been a few years," she said.

"I invited the president of the VWGA, Beverly Everett, up for our open day to see what the course was like and to put us on the right track.

"The club is right behind it being a first."

The VWGA provides sponsorship for the prizes.

The vets play Monday to Friday - men on Mondays and Wednesdays, with the women on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while Friday is a mixed comp.

"You are classified as a vet at 50 and when you get to 80 they give you a badge," Colledge, an octogenarian, said.

"A lot of the girls say 'I hope I can play at your age' and I say 'just keep going, don't stop'."



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