Discy business: Sharing disc golf with schools thanks to grant
Disc golf is gaining popularity in the Taupō community, as a low-barrier alternative to golf. All you need are some walking shoes, an inexpensive disc and you’re all set to play at the free public course in Spa Park.
Taupō Disc Golf Club has been equipping young people from Taupō with skills and techniques to help them play a great game.
Taupō Disc Golf Club president Ken Harris says funding from a Taupō District Council community sports grant has helped with the further exposure of disc golf as a sport to schools and community groups.
“We’ve now got nine portable baskets across two successful rounds of funding, so we can set up a nine-hole course anywhere.
“To be able to go to schools is huge, it gets more discs into kids’ hands. Schools don’t have that barrier of transporting dozens of kids down to Spa Park and keeping an eye on them, we can just set up a course where they are.
“We’ve also had groups from Taupō Pathways through as Ahere, one of our esteemed members, worked with them and had the connections.”
The club was able to visit almost all schools in Taupō with the help of Lake Taupō District Sports Advisory Council.
“We spent over two weeks where we got into almost every school in Taupō – that was about 880 kids between years 5 to 8 having a go!”
In addition to spreading the word about disc golfing, the club is preparing to host the North Island Championships in mid-March, as part of the New Zealand Disc Golf Tour.
“The tournament is a crucial moment for us,” Mr Harris says.
“We’ll see somewhere around 230 to 240 players; it’s one of the largest in the country. We put up our hands to host at Spa Park and the Taupō Golf Club, and of course, we’ll be using our portable baskets too.
“With some updates to the course and Cyclone Gabrielle we’ve had a huge job of getting it ready. All our members represent us well even if they don’t compete because of how much work they’ve put in.”
The Taupō Disc Golf Club has about 70 members and is growing steadily.
Club member Ahere Hapi says the group has strong social connections and acts as kaitiaki of the public course at Spa Park.
“We come together and have barbecues and clean up the course together. It’s such a great group.”
Taupō-Nui-a-Tia Disc Golf NZDG North Island Championships will run at Spa Park and Taupō Golf Club courses from Thursday 16 March to Sunday 19 March 2023.
Applications for the Taupō District Council community sports grant is open from 13 March to 11 April.