Dear BCDS Members:
It has been just over two months since the BCDS AGM and I thought I would share with you some updates and musings I have had since becoming President. I hope you enjoy reading about 18 “things” I have found notable in our community. Yes it is not an exhaustive list of everything going but it is a start. Think of it as my version of a family Christmas letter.
1. Duck Golf seems to be alive and well as a BCDS series. Way to go Salt Spring Island! I was first involved with the BCDS Disc Golf branch when Duck Golf got reintroduced. I don’t think I have ever seen it this strong. It will take care and feeding to keep it this way though.
2. I have been to a number of Raptors Knoll work parties and it is incredible the number of people who are pitching in to make that course a reality. It will be by far the largest disc golf project ever undertaken in BC—I know we’re all waiting anxiously for the call to toss out our first discs!
3. The South Island Disc Golf Society had their opening of Layritz Park in October and there are also projects underway in the Kootneys, Kamloops, and Bowen Island. While they are just getting started it is another signal that the disc golf community is continuing to grow and flourish here in BC. Who noticed the Eastview tee pad upgrades!? How does that happen? Thank you to all the players out there sharing their sweat to make all these courses and upgrades a reality.
4. Happy to see the request for the letter of intent for BC Provincials is out nice and early. Thank you Tara Lynch. Hopefully we get some strong interest. This process will help the BCDS identify the event location for the next few years and allows for more planning time for organizers and players.
5. We have set a goal of adopting a 5-year strategic plan for the Society at the 2019 AGM. To inform the process I have asked Jenne Brett to redo a member survey on the future of disc golf in BC. Look forward to this process in the early spring.
6. The number of women in disc golf has taken off in BC! I couldn’t be happier to see it either as it has taken a long time and a lot of leadership to make it happen. Mundy Park has a female president (go Stacey McLachlan!) and Carrie Neal has driven disc golf in the interior for years. The BCDS is flourishing because of many years of work by Leanne Fulton, Tara Lynch, and Carrie Neal. Every gathering and event I go to has a significant female player presence developing into world-class competitors. Sometimes they show up as entire families (I’m looking at you Julie, Jordon, and Rachel Moens). It is awesome.
7. Oh and Briana Ainsley gets her own “Thing”. Following her on Facebook as she travels across North America spreading the BC love is impressive. So positive and engaging. Great job and we should all be proud of her. She represents BC disc golf so well.
8. I can’t help anyone with explaining the new PDGA rules. Sorry. If you have it worked out then take 5 minutes the next time we run into each other. I would appreciate it.
9. Ted Moens is working on a new disc golf team league format to pilot this spring. He is a great example of how our community helps itself. His model is scalable (anyone can run it in their local community) and accessible to all players. People stepping forward to create ways for people to enjoy the sport is the only way we will grow. Anyone interested in helping him out should connect with him.
10. Carrie Neal has formed a Zone Coordinator Committee for the BCDS. There are 8 sports zones in BC and we have aligned the committee to those areas. BC disc golf community is so broad now we need to bring more voices to the table to inform the growth of the sport. One of the goals is to eventually have a Zone Championships that feeds in to the BC provincials each year (stay tuned for more on this soon).
11. The BCDS has an opportunity to establish itself as a Provincial Sporting Organization. This status will enable the Society to access government grants for both capital and operating funds. We have had the status in the past but the rules became a little tougher and we lost it. Three hurdles we will have to overcome: the need for a National Sporting Organization (which is underway thanks to Don Lane in Ottawa), the need to have 1000 members signed up by the 2019 AGM (we really need your help with this one!) and the need to reorganize play and representation in at least 5 of the 8 sports zones. This will be a whole community effort but we will all see the benefits.
12. Canadian Nationals are returning to PEI next September. You should really consider making the trip. It was a huge success last year with more than 20 players from BC. Many of them doing very well and the awards had a strong BC presence. Casey Hanemayer from Cranbrook, Chris Hartmann and Dave Ross from Surrey, and Jenne Brett from Burnaby are a few special mentions.
13. I saw a post on some old BCDS Duck Golf newsletters produced by Peter Lizotte the other day. It was a great reminder of how much things have changed but stayed the same. I don’t think this list will be as memorable but I hope it helps. Thanks Ed Busch for the memories.
14. The recent vandalism at Quilchena Park in Vancouver is a sobering reminder that it is important to keep a strong relationship with the host of your course. Most often that is a municipal parks department. Without their support you easily find competing interests winning the day and loosing your course. If Vancouver City United Disc Golf Club was not as organized I worry about what would be happening now. A strong local club is key for every course.
15. When I head out to my little local course, Mundy Park, I am constantly surprised by the number of recreational players involved today. The future of disc golf is bright if we can begin to move these casual players down the continuum to a more involved and connected member of the formal disc golf community.
16. This month there was a tragic, police-involved incident that involved a member of the public at Passive Park in Langley. Players preparing for the Duck Golf event became witnesses. I want to thank those people who helped out the police and public and those who reached out to make sure they had support as needed. You all know who you are, and I just want to say thank you on behalf of everyone else in the BCDS.
17. The Johnny Mac Memorial doubles event was well done by Brad Henderson and family. I’m sure it was appreciated by Johnny’s family. Thanks to the 40-plus players who showed up to play in the doubles event and a special thanks to Bill Anderson for a great speech that got the day rolling.
18. Finally I want to thank the countless volunteers who organize the many regional series, Halloween doubles events, tag matches, glow leagues, afternoon doubles, club days, TD tournaments, print discs, waffle, travel to compete, post on Facebook or Instagram, and generally contribute to making our disc golf community what it is. Thanks and best of the season to you and your family.
19. OK so there are 19. As we turn the calendar to the new year I am looking forward to seeing the 2019 calendar of events for the Province. In the last few years there have emerged excellent regional events on the island, interior, and the north of the Province. I expect next year will only be bigger and better.