Fantastic news from 2015 Tomorrow Maker Katelyn Rika. The 18-year-old golfer from Nhulunbuy has moved to the US to commence an athletic/academic scholarship at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The move to the US represents the culmination of many years of hard work at school on the course and in the classroom by the young golfer.
The Northern Territorian started playing golf at age eight and has shown incredible dedication to the sport – despite her local course only having nine holes. As she was 1,000 kilometres from a pro golf green, Katelyn would regularly travel from Nhulunbuy to Darwin or Cairns to compere and catch flights to competitions further afield.
Katelyn used her 2015 grant for equipment and coaching so she could compete in competitions such as the NT Junior Masters, NT Amateurs and various other representative events. Within a few short years, she was the Northern Territory’s number one golfing junior and number one female golfer – all while continuing to excel academically.
She is also a strong advocate for women in golf, and since 2018 has been a Community Instructor with Golf Australia’s MyGolf program, which introduces girls to the game. Through this program she helped run the local junior program, holiday clinics and Indigenous golf clinics, and is inspiring the next generation of golfers.
Even back in 2015, when Katelyn was named a Tomorrow Maker, it was clear her optimism and determination would take her far:
“No matter where you live, dreams can be achieved with the right support. I hope my story and success will inspire more young people, especially young women, to keep working hard to achieve their dreams.”
Before she jetted off to the US, Katelyn won the Hahn Super Dry Darwin Open in July. In Tulsa, she has joined the Golden Eagles Women’s Golf team and is studying a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Her goal is to become a professional golfer on the LPGA Circuit.
“I have definitely been placed in an environment that I believe I can thrive in and I can’t help but know my golf will improve,” Katelyn told the NT News.
The AMP Foundation wishes Katelyn the best of luck in the US and looks forward to seeing her professional career take off.