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Florida: Nancy Henderson (LPGA) & Chyloe Kurdas

The ocean breeze and rolling turf of the golf course were a refreshing change of scenery the past two days in Daytona Beach, Florida. Here, our emerging leader, Chyloe Kurdas has been perfecting her own game of golf, coached by Nancy Henderson, Senior Vice President of the Ladies Professional Golf Association and winner of over 300 professional golf titles herself.

Chyloe grew up in a mixed heritage home in Australia. He father was a Muslim Turkish immigrant and her mother, whose father was a Hungarian Catholic refugee. Her home provided a very open environment that allowed for a lot of independence. Both parents were particularly committed to education for their children, which meant Chyloe was allowed to participate in sports as long as she did well in school.

“My parents were very much working class and as a result, I grew up in a really multi-cultural neighborhood. There were other families in the neighborhood from Turkey and Lebanon, but none who allowed their daughters to play sports. This realization made me even more thankful for my family, especially my father’s support.”

Chyloe found that she was naturally talented at sports, especially Australian Rules Football. After a successful playing career, she has become the Female Football Development Manager at AFL Victoria. As Manager, Chyloe has implemented several successful community initiatives, including “Fair Play: Respect Matters” and “AFL Respect & Responsibility.” Through these programs, the AFL is spending $1.4 million over five years to raise awareness about gender violence and alcohol abuse prevention.

As Chyloe continues to grow the game in Australia and beyond, her experiences with the LPGA are proving to be invaluable.There is great synergy between the LPGA and AFL as organizations, and LPGA’s extensive experience in promoting the women’s game of golf globally will certainly benefit Chyloe.