Sporting mates help teens

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At the handover of a cheque of $500 to the Ashburton College girls softball team are (from left) Briar Clark, team coach Lyndall Chisnall, Tayla Davidson, AshVegas Country Club members Mitch Van Der Krogt and Mark Argyle, and Angel Spooner.

A group of mates who go by the unofficial name of the AshVegas Country Club have been swinging the golf clubs, sharing a beer and having a laugh for more than 20 years.

Over the years the lads have also been generous in their support of local sports performers and clubs.

An annual donation is usually given out and at the weekend $500 was given to the Ashburton College girls’ softball team to help with expenses at a tournament in Alexandra next week.

Country club spokesman Mark Argyle said donations in recent years had been given to cyclist Jenna Borthwick, golfers Olivia Crispin and Brent Kirdy and hockey player, athlete Angel Spooner and others.

The club went under the radar a bit, but did receive and review funding applications every year from those in the know.

He said club members numbered around 50 and 20 regulars, most in the their mid-50s, played 18-hole golf every Sunday.

The golfers were mostly affiliated with the Tinwald Golf Club and also had a close association with the Devon Tavern, where they ran raffles to raise funds.

The love of the game and the camaraderie kept the club going and once a month they headed outside of the district to play.

“We make an annual trip to Kurow and enjoy the golf, play some bowls and also go to the races.”

Mr Argyle said it was at post-game sessions at the 19th hole that club members “held court” and were able to raise funds by issuing fines.

The club also sponsored a prize at the annual golf shootout at Tinwald, which funded a full annual membership.