The Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) has announced it will be distributing a grand total of $377,000 in their Basin PLAYS Capital Improvement Grants, to 24 projects around the Columbia Basin centred around youth recreation.
Here in Cranbrook, the East Kootenay Disc Golf Club (EKDGC) is the recipient of $12,250. They applied for funding through CBT last year unsuccessfully and came back this year with three specific, youth-centred projects in mind and were awarded the grant.
“This grant is huge for not only myself, my family, both my kids play. my wife partakes at Idlewild. But for the community, we’re trying to grow the spot and this is our number one goal,” said EKDGC vice president Steve Reedyk.
“By getting the kids interested we can possibly get more adult interested, because it is such an amazing any-age activity. It’s huge, I’m really excited I can’t wait to start ordering materials.”
The EKGC will use the funds they’ve received to improve the three courses we have. At Idlewild, which was built last year with youth and beginners in mind, will have nine more baskets installed, making it a full, 18-hole beginner-friendly course.
“Idlewild which is already a successful nine-hole youth-based course is now going to be able to handle twice as many kids at once for field trip purposes. Idlewild now can handle close to 100 kids in one event. Call it three classes, for sure based on class size.”
At the College of the Rockies course, the EKDGC will use the funds to install a College-provided washroom.
“With the college bathroom basically it would allow for schools outside of the immediate zone of the course to use the course, because there’s no current facilities.”
Then finally at the Wycliffe Disc Golf Course, the funds will be used to install permanent amateur tee pads. Wycliffe is an extraordinary course, both in its natural beauty and its technicality and level of difficulty. At tournaments, like last summer’s Kootenay Up and Down, temporary amateur tee pads were installed for the recreational, intermediate and junior divisions.
“If we add in amateur pads, then suddenly when [schools] do a wilderness day at Wycliffe, they have the option of using a pretty high-level course,” Reedyk explained.
The EKDGC has already been actively promoting the development of the sport of disc golf with the youth of Cranbrook. Not only by installing a beginner-friendly course last year, but by conducting successful school workshops to increase the awareness and skills of the game among school-aged children.
These additional funds will bolster the club’s ability to reach new audiences with this fun, accessible activity in a huge way.