Stollery family makes major gift of $2M in support of Team Canada women’s coaching position
Photo credit: Jeff Vogan/SPORTDAD Sports Photography
Golf New Brunswick
Golf Canada in partnership with the Golf Canada Foundation and the Canadian Olympic Foundation have announced a major gift from the Stollery Family that will see the official title of the women’s national team head coach renamed as the Team Canada Stollery Family Women’s Head Coach and Stollery Family Olympic Women’s Head Coach.
The Stollery Family, long-time supporters of Canadian golf and especially the women’s game including junior girls and high-performance activities, have donated a total $2M to the Golf Canada Foundation and the Canadian Olympic Foundation in support of the Team Canada program to help fund the Women’s Head Coach position over a 30-year term.
“We are so honoured that the Stollerys, a family with such a long history of philanthropy and promoting sport, has chosen to make this meaningful gift in support of women’s golf,” said Golf Canada President Liz Hoffman, who also sits as a Board Member on the Golf Canada Foundation. “We are excited for what this means for the growth of the women’s game, and the powerful statement it makes in support of coaching across Canada.”
Salimah Mussani, recently promoted by Golf Canada to lead the women’s team will be the inaugural Team Canada Stollery Family Women’s Head Coach.
Seven sisters –Cailey, Victoria, Gillian, Lindsay, Claire, Sarah, and Hannah – have proudly carried on the family legacy of support for the game initiated by their late father Gordon Stollery. Among other successful business ventures, the Stollery Family are the owners and operators of Goodwood Golf Club in Goodwood, Ont. as well as Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ont. which has played host to numerous major golf championships including the CP Women’s Open (2001), the Telus Skins Game (2001), the RBC Canadian Open (2002, 2007) and the golf competition of the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Angus Glen is also proud host of the annual World Junior Girls Golf Championship, presented by Sargeant Farms, set to return October 12-15, 2022. The Stollery Family have also been long-time supporters of the Golf Canada Foundation including events such as the popular Wine, Women’ & Shoes Fundraiser. The generosity of the Stollery Family has supported numerous charitable legacies including a $5M donation to Markham Stouffville Hospital which named the Stollery Family Centre for Childbirth and Children in their honour.
“Our family recognizes and values the critical role that women’s golf and high-performance coaching can have on the overall growth of a sport that has meant so such much to us all,” said Cailey Stollery who sits on the Board Directors of both the Golf Canada Foundation as well as the Canadian Olympic Foundation.
“In making this gift, we believe in the renewed vision of Golf Canada’s high-performance program and hope that others will come forward to join us in this journey.”
The Stollery Family’s major gift to fund the Women’s Head Coach position is the first of its kind for a Canadian National Sport Federation head coaching position.
The Team Canada Stollery Family Women’s Head Coach will also be a first for a Canadian Olympic Team coach as the Team Canada Stollery Family Women’s Head Coach will also guide Women’s Golf Team that is named by the Canadian Olympic Committee to represent Team Canada at future Olympic Games.
“This gift from the Stollery Family is remarkable, and a clear indication of the entire family’s shared belief in the transformational power of sport,” says Jacqueline Ryan, Chief Brand and Commercial Officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee and CEO of the Canadian Olympic Foundation. “This contribution is truly inspiring and will help shape the exciting future of women’s golf in Canada for years to come.”
Since starting out in golf, Maddie Szeryk has dreamt of playing the sport at the highest level. After securing LPGA Tour status for 2022 last December in Alabama, the 25-year-old has realized her childhood dream and is ready to take on the world’s best this season.
The long time member of Golf Canada’s National Team Program recalls her humble beginnings when she got started at the age of seven thanks to the encouragement of her dad, Neil Szeryk.
“I remember my dad initially signed me up for lessons at a summer camp and I went out with everyone; and then after I got an individual coach. I really liked the sport and I’ve been doing it ever since,” she reminisced.
Szeryk, whose parents Neil and Karen relocated from London, Ont., shortly after being married – found her passion and a lot of success on the golf course.
“I remember really enjoying being out on the golf course and I also remember winning a lot of local tournaments growing up and so I wanted to work hard as I could to continue getting better,” she recalled.
With the top 45 plus ties earning LPGA Tour membership and playing status for 2022, Szeryk shot a 68 in the eighth and final round of the LPGA Q-Series to finish in a tie for 35th spot.
It should give Szeryk and her supporters a lot of confidence in knowing that when it mattered most she was calm and cool as a cucumber. The talented young Canadian birdied her last two holes to finish inside the top 45 by one stroke – finishing five under for the eight day qualifying tournament which was held in Alabama.
Szeryk says the achievement last December was a very meaningful one – not only for herself but those that have been in her corner through the ups and downs.
“Everyone was so happy and excited. My parents both cried because we all put in so many sacrifices for this dream. To finally have it come true is amazing; and knowing all that hard work paid off,” she said. “We went out for dinner when I got back home and I got to celebrate with friends – so it was really special.”
The long time National Team member also received a heartfelt message from her Golf Canada head coach Tristan Mullally after the thrilling finish at the LPGA Q-Series.
“Gutsy Performance from @mszeryk who barely missed a couple of years ago through @roadtolpga top 10 and has patiently been working away. Class on and off the course and couldn’t be happier for her. #faith #dragonheart,” he Tweeted.
The former University of Texas A&M All-American is quick to credit the support from Golf Canada for playing a key important role in her success.
“They have been a huge part in terms of getting me to this point. I was on the amateur team all through college and had a lot of great experiences. During my time with the National Team Program, I got to play in high level events and had a chance to test my game against the best amateurs in the world. I also got to play in a number of LPGA events, including the CP Women’s Open,” said Szeryk.
“The coaching and support has played a big role in getting me to where I am. Golf Canada has been awesome in support of my journey.”
The 25-year-old will be joining Canadians Maude-Aimée Leblanc and Brooke Henderson this season on the LPGA Tour. She is also excited to be entering her rookie season with a few of her good friends.
“Dewi Weber, Sophia Schubert, and Haylee Harford are close friends that I played with on the Symetra Tour – now the Epson Tour – and it’s great that we will all be rookies on the LPGA Tour this year,” she said.
Szeryk plans to start her season at the beginning of March on the Epson Tour and play her first LPGA Tour event in late March or early April. And she’s been working hard in preparation for the season ahead.
“On average I’ve been putting in about five or six hours of practise on the golf course each day. But it’s really about quality over quantity in terms of the work. I’ve been doing my best to be prepared physically and mentally.”
Having realized her childhood dream through the LPGA Q-Series in December, Szeryk was asked about her thoughts and goals heading into her first season playing against the best of the best.
“I’m really excited. I got to play a few LPGA events before so I kind of know the atmosphere. It’s really cool to be playing as an LPGA member this season and luckily I have a few friends that will be rookies also to share the experience,” she replied.
“I’m going to try to have good finishes and have good results; but also just try to stay in the present and enjoy every week and have fun out there.”