To say Cindy Koira is good at golf would be an understatement – the 15-year-old Stelly’s Secondary student has been putting away on greens since she was just three years old, introduced to a love of the game by her father, also her coach.
And now, for the second consecutive year, Koira was named girls champion for the Vikes Junior Golf tour, playing 22 tournaments across Vancouver Island and is invited to play at the 2018 CJGA World Junior Championship in Florida this winter.
Koira shrugs when asked what it is that sets her apart from other golfers.
“It’s a game of mental strength,” she says, and likens the strategy to helping her juggle the other typical aspects of teen life. She plays flute in the Stelly’s school band and keeps up on her Grade 11 coursework.
“Golf skills transfer to life skills,” she explains.
|(Contributed/Shubha Hosalli Koira)|
A member of both the Victoria and Gorge Vale golf clubs, Koira won the B.C. provincial CJGA tournament in March and the women’s amateur team title at the B.C. Provincial Championship in July.
She also qualified for both the 2018 European Championship in Scotland and World Junior Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina, tournaments she’s held a steady presence in since 2015.
For now, it’s all about keeping that momentum going with training in the off-season that includes cycling, regular yoga and some weight-lifting as well as hitting the links at Gorge Vale.
“It’s more challenging,” she says of the course where this year she will try out a new set of clubs – an early gift for her 16th birthday on Nov. 30.
A volunteer at various golf clinics through the summer, Koira also dedicates her time to mentoring younger players helping them to learn the game. That experience is invaluable to the young athlete who dreams of one day turning pro and coaching herself.
In the meantime, she says she’d like to see a golf program implemented at Stelly’s. “My school has a lot of other sports but golf isn’t there.”