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Marcheta Gallant proud to be named to provincial golfing Hall of Fame

Marcheta Gallant poses for a photo on the course at Harmon Seaside Links in Stephenville. CONTRIBUTED
Marcheta Gallant poses for a photo on the course at Harmon Seaside Links in Stephenville. CONTRIBUTED - Frank Gale

FRANK GALE
THE WESTERN STAR

STEPHENVILLE, N.L. — Marcheta Gallant started playing golf because it was a non-contact sport that allowed her to spend time outdoors surrounded by nature.

“I found it so peaceful,” she said in an interview last week.

Little did she know her introduction to golf would lead to her acceptance into the Golf Newfoundland and Labrador Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement, one of the highest awards a person can receive in the sport.

Marcheta Gallant
Marcheta Gallant

Gallant was a teacher when she first got into the game. With late spring a strenuous time for teachers as they wrapped up the school year, she would hit the course as soon it opened.

“It was as if I could feel all the stress leaving my body, that’s what it did for me over the years,” she said.

Gallant got involved in the organizational part of the sport through the encouragement of other people.

She started in the early 1980s with local junior golfers, then stepped up to help ladies' golfing. She eventually moved into the provincial level and on to the national scene as a representative for the province.

When the provincial ladies’ and men’s golf associations merged into the Newfoundland and Labrador Golfing Association, she put her name forward to help, receiving encouragement from Helena Bragg and Kay Thompson, also Hall of Fame members.

In 2009 she was nominated by Loyola O’Connor of Stephenville to be vice president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Golf Association, which she accepted. Shortly after, the president stepped down and she moved into that spot.

The provincial association wasn’t in a good place at the time. Without a full board of directors, she said the sports division of the Newfoundland and Labrador government was contemplating withdrawing financial support.

She remembers going to the Confederation Building to meet Patti Thorne, head of the sports division at the time, and having several meetings to discuss plans to go forward.

Gallant said the association got the funding because Thorne believed in her. Gallant then recruited good people to join her on the executive.

“One of the most important people who was instrumental in getting the golf association on its feet financially was John Angel,” she said. “He helped the association and me follow through what I had promised Thorne.”

Gallant said she didn’t achieve everything in her golfing life on her own as there were lots of people who helped along the way.

When she received notification of the lifetime achievement award in an email Oct. 18, she was overwhelmed and “filled right up.”

Nominated by Steve Wedgewood, she will accept the award at a luncheon in St. John’s Nov. 23.

Her love of the game continues. She played 75 rounds of nine-hole golf and four rounds of 18 holes this past summer.

“Golf still relieves stress for me — no phone ringing, no television and no bells to go to class,” Gallant said.

frank.gale@thewesternstar.com

Marcheta Gallant’s golf volunteer involvements:
- 1982 to 1993 – member of Tamarack Ladies Division in Labrador City, eventually the president and a member of the main committee for about 10 years.
- 1986 – revived a long dormant junior girls’ program in Labrador West.
- 1986 to 2002 – junior program coordinator at the Tamarack Golf Club
- 1996 to 2006 – organized and helped the provincial golf professional with junior camps in Labrador West, which later became the Future Links’ Camps. During this time, also coordinated clinics with the amateur and senior ladies of Labrador West.
- 2000 or 2001 – instrumental in bringing the provincial junior director from St. John’s to make presentations to classes in all the schools to promote junior golf through funding from the Labrador City’s recreation commission.
- 1996 to 2006 – member of the Provincial Ladies Association.
- 2001 to 2006 – Provincial teams director which included: organizing and running the provincial junior, amateur and senior ladies’ championships and women’s team trials; starter and scorer for these events; organizing and running women’s elite camps throughout the province.
- 2005 to 2006 – member of the amalgamation committee for the men's and women's provincial associations.
- 2006 to 2009 – provincial team director of the amalgamated men’s' and women's association.
- 2007 to 2009 – chairperson of the Provincial Ladies Championship of the newly formed Newfoundland and Labrador Golf Association, which included organizing and running the tournament.
- 2007 to 2009 – vice-president of the amalgamated association.
- 2009 to 2012 – president of the amalgamated association.
- 2013 to 2014 – president of the new amalgamated association (NLGA and GNL), now known as Golf NL.
- 2009 to 2014 – starter and scorer for the Provincial Men's Tournament and continued with these same roles when the men's and women's tournaments became one.
- 2006 to 2010 – travelled with the junior female team to nationals.
- 2009 to 2014 – served on committees: Provincial Junior Committee, Provincial Adult Tournament Committee, finance committee, membership committee, Hall of Fame committee.
- 2012 – obtained level two for rules.
- 2013 – successful in obtaining level three rules.
- 2010 to 2014 – member of the Development Team Committee for the Canada Summer Games
- 2010 to 2014 – attended and assisted in four junior development camps.
- 2008 to 2014 – chairperson of the Provincial Junior Tournament, including such duties as starter and scorer.
- 2002 to 2013 - served on the appeals committee for adult tournaments and five years for the Junior Provincial Tournament.
- 2013 – golf manager for NL for Canada Summer Games
- 2008 – volunteered at the National Women’s Seniors Championship at Bally Haly
- 2009 to 2014 – member of the Provincial Council at Golf Canada representing the NL Provincial Golf Association.
- 2014 - starter/scorer chairperson for the Female Ladies Atlantics at Humber Valley Resort.
- 2016 - volunteer with the Tely Tour as a rules official in Stephenville, Corner Brook and Deer Lake and in Stephenville in 2017.

As an athlete:
- 2004 - member of the NL Senior Women’s Team to Nationals in Steinback, Manitoba.
- 2005 – Senior Female Athlete of the year in Labrador City for the previous year’s golf achievements.
- 2008 - lowest handicap obtained.
- Recipient of many awards in Labrador West at The Tamarack Golf Club in Labrador West in various tournaments, women’s A division winner and/or low net.
Source: Marcheta Gallant

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