A pioneer for women’s golf in BC, Ginny was the first female member to join the PGA of BC. Her passion for the game and for giving back through golf is legendary in BC and in some of the most poverty-stricken regions of Africa.
Six years ago, Ginny watched the CBC documentary, ‘Educating Margaret’ – a poignant story about a bright young girl in Kenya who was denied the right to a high school education because her family was too poor to pay for it. But through the generosity of one Canadian teacher, Lorrie Williams (founder of the Canadian Harambee Education Society) and Margaret’s love for learning, that young woman went on to graduate high school and secure a full scholarship to university to study nursing.
Margaret’s story inspired Ginny to volunteer countless hours with CHES and co-chair the Harambee Charity Golf Classic – an annual charity event that has raised over $157,000 for CHES.
"The hope of a promising bright African girl to attend secondary school is a dream that rarely happens. In rural Kenya and Tanzania women do most of the hard labour and often are forced into marriage at an early age as the 2nd or 3rd wife of a much older man. Education breaks this cycle," said Dr. Joy Ruffeski, Executive Director, CHES Canada. "United Nations and World Bank studies have shown that educating women to the same level as men results in better family health, smaller families, longer life expectancy, higher community economic productivity, and more educated families. One Swing at a Time will not only change the lives of thousands of women in Africa, it will have a profound impact on all those who come in contact with them."
In many parts of Africa, school fees are more than the total annual income of many rural families. And for those who can scrape together enough money for a high school education, it is generally reserved for the sons.
“There’s an African saying that goes, ‘If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a family’,” said Ginny. “I have seen first-hand how Harambee has changed the lives of thousands of women and I want to help grow those thousands into tens of thousands so we can change whole communities.”
One Swing at a Time (http://www.ginnygolding.com/
When: June 23, 2014 starting at sunrise on the 8th hole
Where: University Golf Club, Vancouver, BC
Goal: To raise a minimum of $65,000 through $1,000-hole sponsorships
Donations are being accepted through Canada Helps (https://www.canadahelps.org/
Sponsors can be corporations, individuals or groups of friends or family who want to share sponsorship for a hole. Sponsors will be recognized through signage on the holes they sponsor and on a sign near the 18th hole of the UGC clubhouse.
“When Ginny first approached me with her idea of playing 65 holes on her 65th birthday and raising $65,000 for Harambee, it was automatic for me to give her the green light,” said Michael Mather, General Manager, University Golf Club. “This initiative is a perfect example of who Ginny is as a person and as a golf professional. Everyone associated with the University Golf Club is in full support of her plan. My job now, is to make certain that Mother Nature cooperates and gives her a nice, dry day on June 23rd!”
2014 marks Ginny’s 30th year as a golf professional in the province – a milestone that would have many others looking back over their careers, wondering “What if…” -- but not Ginny…
“I have been so fortunate in my life to be able to play golf and be supported by other women in my pursuit of a fulfilling career in this great sport,” shared Ginny. “Now, at 65 I want to give back to girls who do not have the privileges we have here in Canada. I invite all those who have shared my journey to this milestone to now join me in helping educate women so they can be catalysts for change in their communities.”
About Canadian Harambee Education Society
Founded in 1985, the Canadian Harambee Education Society’s (http://www.canadianharambee.ca/
Since its inception, CHES has subsidized the educations of several thousands of girls, many of whom have gone on to professional careers in medicine, research, accounting, education, engineering, technical and trades.
About Ginny Golding
Growing up in London, Ontario, Ginny’s backyard was 27 holes of public golf. Ginny began playing golf at the age of 5 with five sawed off hickory clubs, learning the game by caddying and catching the local pro’s golf shots with her baseball glove!
After teaching school in Ontario and Nova Scotia for 8 years, Ginny decided to combine her passion for golf with her love of teaching and made her way to British Columbia where she became the first female golf professional in the province.
Over the past 30 years, Ginny held teaching and/or Director of Instruction positions at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club, Big Sky Golf & Country Club, Westwood Plateau Golf Club and Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy. For the past decade she has been teaching golfers from all over the lower mainland at University Golf Club.
In 2007 Ginny founded Golfbug Adventures, offering unique golf travel experiences.
Ginny has an enormous loyal following due to her dedication, commitment and infectious passion for helping others grow technically and personally in the game, which has earned her a number of accolades including:
- Best Golf Coach, Best of Vancouver Magazine 2010
- Nominee YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Health & Active Living Category, 2010
- Nominated Best Teacher PGA of BC 2009