Ballarat golfer Tony Collier honoured with state teaching award

BALLARAT golf professional Tony Collier has been awarded the prestigious 2013 Victorian Teaching Professional of the Year award.

 Victorian Teaching Professional of the Year winner Tony Collier (centre) lending a hand to St Thomas More Primary School pupils Josh Clark (left) and Natalia Ripani (right).

Victorian Teaching Professional of the Year winner Tony Collier (centre) lending a hand to St Thomas More Primary School pupils Josh Clark (left) and Natalia Ripani (right).

Collier specialises in conducting school clinics across the Ballarat district and surrounding areas.

According to the PGA of Australia, in 2013 he coached more than 9,000 juniors across 500 junior clinics and conducted more than 20 school tournaments with 1500 participants.

As Collier says, “I really couldn’t do much more”.

“It’s the first time I’ve been nominated and it’s come as a bit of a surprise. Traditionally it’s been awarded to the high performance coaches such as those in the VIS (Victorian Institute of Sport) or player coaches,” he said.

The 43-year-old has been coaching for nearly 24 years, having started as a trainee at the age of 20.

His primary involvement with school clinics has just ticked in its 15th year, but as of late he has also been charged with the responsibility of boosting junior levels throughout the Ballarat District Golf Association (BDGA).

Collier is employed by Golf Victoria as regional development officer and My Golf junior development officer.

Collier also coaches at Ballarat’s Golf City driving range.  “I started playing golf when I was 12 - the experiences I had as a kid got me into coaching and I felt it was important to help grow grass roots golf in Victoria,” Collier said.

“In my opinion you can never do too much to help grow the game at a regional level.”

The BDGA will run junior programs in the September holidays, while Ballarat clubs will be overseeing junior programs in term four of the school year.

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