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Another Digital Annual General Meeting for the Ottawa Valley Golf Association

/ Joe McLean

For the second year in a row, because of COVID 19, the Ottawa Valley Golf Association (OVGA) held their 2021 Annual General Meeting by video conference.

With over twenty OVGA Member Clubs logging in to the meeting on April 19, a quorum was established to conduct business for the 41st consecutive year since the Ottawa Valley Golf Association was established in 1981.

Association President Gerry Bower opened the meeting by thanking the OVGA Member Clubs for their patience and their participation; the Board of Directors for their work in 2020 and also their OVGA Sponsors, including Golf-O-Max, Humber College and the Nepean Optimist Club for their support. Gerry also thanked Golf Canada, Golf Ontario and Golf Quebec for their ongoing guidance in this time of a lockdown in Ontario until May 20. 

Special recognition was given to retiring Board Member Ashley Thompson for her years of dedicated volunteer service to the OVGA.

Camelot’s Jean Stone-Seguin brought greetings from Golf Canada through a bilingual video. As Jean said, “It was a unique year in 2020 but also a job well done by all of the industry partners keeping players safe.”

The minutes of the 2020 virtual AGM were adopted as submitted and then various OVGA Board Members then gave their presentations. 

Neill Colbert gave the OVGA financial picture from 2020 and the projection for 2021. Despite the loss of revenue in 2020, the OVGA is still in a good financial position and Mr. Colbert thanked Jim Davidson for pursuing government grants for interns involved in tournaments and communications.

Gord Lawson talked about the number of course ratings that had to be cancelled in 2020 due to COVID restrictions. This year only emergency ratings will take place and twenty-one projected ratings will have to be rescheduled to 2022.

OVGA Tournament Director Dru Lafave talked the COVID-related restrictions that will be in place once tournaments are played in 2021. As of now, any tournaments scheduled before May 20 will be postponed and hopefully rescheduled. A full schedule including intersectionals is still being planned for the 2021 season but that will all be dependent on future COVID restrictions.

New to the OVGA Tournament schedule is the addition of possible triple-crown champions awards for players who sweep their respective City & District, Match Play and OVGA Cup Championships. Golf Genius is now being used to run events with all associations across Canada running the same program.

Alex Pugh talked about the intersectionals returning after a one-year absence. No caddies or spectators will be allowed for the intersectional rounds and depending on COVID restrictions, no meals are expected to be served by host clubs and there will be a restriction on the number of carts available for each Club.   

Jim Davidson talked about the playing schedule for OVGA Juniors in 2021 and also announced the OVGA Junior Development Team for 2021. The members of their Junior Development team for 2021 are Lauren Gervais, Antonia Ho and Jared Lipski, Kanata; Atlas Ibit and Isaiah Ibit, GreyHawk; Ellis Kinnaird, Mississippi; Carlee Meilleur, Loyalist; Yaorui Xu, Ottawa Hunt and Sophie Fouls, Ashley Lafontaine, James Newton and Maddy Pytura from Royal Ottawa.

Jim Davidson indicated that junior participation in 2020 was stable but junior play for girls remains low.

Dru Lafave also announced the 100th Anniversary of organized golf for the OVGA and also the introduction of the Ottawa Valley Golf Association Hall of Fame. The purpose of the Ottawa Valley Golf Association (OVGA) Hall of Fame is to acknowledge, honour, and perpetuate the memory of those who have made a significant and positive contribution to golf in the area served by the Ottawa Valley Golf Association, as amateur or professional competitors; directors, officials, builders, or others.

To be eligible for induction into the OVGA Hall of Fame, whether alive or posthumously, candidates should, normally, have lived or pursued their golfing activities in the area served by the Ottawa Valley Golf Association and reached the age of 35.

More information about the Ottawa Valley Golf Association Hall of Fame including the nomination process will soon be available on the OVGA website.

The 2021 OVGA Board of Directors nominees were then announced and voted on. 

Members of the OVGA Board of Directors for 2021 are President – Gerry Bower (Greensmere); Vice President – Position Vacant); Immediate Past-President & Intersectionals – Alex Pugh (Hylands); Secretary/Treasurer – John Ackehurst (Eagle Creek); Communications & Marketing – (Position Vacant); Course Rating & Handicap – Gord Lawson (Kanata); Rules – Blake Wimperis (Mississippi); Tournament Director – Dru Lafave (Kanata); Men’s Tournaments – Jim Crawford (GreyHawk); Women’s Tournaments – Sherry Rodenkirch (Greensmere); Player Development – Jim Davidson (Public Player) and Directors at Large – David Ferries (Royal Ottawa), Bob Bissonnette (Rivermead), Neill Colbert (Hylands), Paul Trottier (Kanata).

The OVGA Board of Directors currently has two Director’s positions available and they are seeking volunteers to assist them in their deliberations. If you are interested in working with the OVGA on a voluntary basis, please contact them at admin@ovga.org.

Flagstick wishes the OVGA, its member clubs and tournament participants all the best in 2021. 

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