Sharon Bird today officially launched the Russell Vale Golf Course Hole Naming – a tribute to Illawarra coal miners past and present.

As a tribute to the Illawarra’s coal heritage, the Club set up a project to name the 18 holes at Russell Vale Golf Course after various coal mines (past and present) in the Illawarra.

Russell Vale Golf Club were successful in their application for $7,780 in funding from the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Programme.  This funding was matched by contributions from the Club’s fundraising ($4,348) and in kind donation from Wollongong City Council ($4,132).

Sharon Bird said she had supported the application as many local residents had strong family connections to mining in the Illawarra.

“Coming from a family of five generations of coal miners, I think the Club’s project to recognise our local coal mining history in this way is a unique and innovative way to pay tribute to the region’s local coal miners,” Sharon Bird said.

“I would like to congratulate President, Mrs Robyn Crowe, and Project Officer, Mr Alan Sellers, and all the volunteers at the Club for their hard work in bringing this project to completion.

Wollongong City Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery OAM said that the naming of the holes was a great way to incorporate local history into an everyday sporting activity.

“Russell Vale Golf Course is much loved by both local and visiting players. By naming each hole after a local mine, we’re providing an extra point of interest for golfers while acknowledging a significant part of our history.

“Some of the holes are named after very well-known mines, and others are more obscure ones, but they’ve all played a part in Wollongong’s story.

“I’d like to thank the Federal Government for providing funding that enabled Russell Vale Golf Club to initiate this project and work with Council to help put it into action.”