The momentum of disc golf in this region continues to build steam. With a PDGA sanctioned B.C. Provincial tournament coming up in October, the builders of the Wycliffe Course have been seeking some funds to pay for the tournament as well as upgrade the course. It was then perfect timing that the College of the Rockies, the other course being used in the tournament, decided to upgrade their course, and is allowing the East Kootenay Disc Golf Club (EKDC) to sell some of their old baskets in order to raise money for the tournament.
“At first when we knew we had the opportunity to sell the baskets, the club thought it might be a bit tricky, especially as some aren’t exactly in mint condition anymore,” said Kristy Shields with the EKDC. “But as the word got out that we were selling the old ones, everyone seemed to want to buy one.”
Shields made a post in the Cranbrook Disc Golf Facebook page, and comments started to roll in from people interested in buying a basket — with some people wanting to purchase the lot of them to set up a course on their property.
“It was then it became clear an auction would be the way to do it. It makes the most sense; it’s the fairest way to do this and will maximize funds raised for the club,” Shields said.
Mike Walls, one of the people who built the COTR course in 2000, explained that when they originally built the course, they had installed posts instead of baskets, but then acquired some from Vancouver, for $500.
“They’re originally from Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver,” Walls said. “When we got them in 2000 they were already, I’m thinking, close to 20 years old, 18 years old or something like that. They were one of the original baskets down in Vancouver.”
Chris New, who works with the City of Cranbrook, was instrumental in convincing the decision makers at COTR that the disc golf course would be a good idea, and the college allowed them to go onto their property and start installing it. WIthout his support, the course would not have happened.
Then, with a grant from Columbia Basin Trust, a team of volunteers, and the College carpentry students, they built the rest of the course. Allan Knibbs, facilities director at COTR and casual disc golf player, said that the college values the course as a great recreation amenity for the community, and he wanted to make some upgrades to signage and the baskets, considering they are pushing 40 years old.
Initially there wasn’t enough organization to make that happen, but then Serge Gosselin, organizer of the upcoming Provincials, approached him and said they were coming together and making a bid for the PDGA tournament to happen here.
“That’s when I was like, ‘okay great, I’d like to do something there’ — signage and some baskets namely. So that’s where it took off from,” said Knibbs. “We want to take care of things out there and make sure it continues to be a well-used recreation activity. So by doing this and working with the city, it’s a win-win for everybody.”
The new Innova baskets have been in storage for about three or four weeks and there will be a work party on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. to install them.
On Friday, September 14 at 8:00 p.m. the auction for the five baskets will begin on the Cranbrook Disc Golf Facebook page. It will be run over five days and in each 24 hour period, one basket will be put up for auction at a time. As each auction ends, the top bidder will choose what basket they want.
“It’ll be interesting to see how [the auction] pans out,” Shields said, “but I think it’s going to be fun with a lot of banter and ultimately raise much needed funds for our course and tournament.”
Kristy added that winners aren’t just buying a basket, but getting a piece of history. The City of Cranbrook will be installing nine of the other baskets at Idlewild and then Pinewood PAC have purchased the remaining four.
She said that with provincials just around the corner, the courses are really coming together and the whole disc golf community has banded together and has been hard at work installing benches, clearing fairways and installing tee pads — truly a team effort.
Walls said that he thinks the vitality of the disc golf community in the East Kootenay is “amazing,” saying that when he built the course nearly 20 years ago, his goal was that somebody from Cranbrook would win the B.C. Open, and that was achieved last year when Casey Hanemayer won it.
“At that time everyone from Vancouver was winning, and we started that course and I thought it would be so cool if someone that grew up playing in Cranbrook, learning the game there, could actually win the B.C. Open and it happened,” Walls said.
He added that it was great to see the College now putting forth funds to replace the baskets on their course — a “changing of the guards” so to speak.
“It’s really growing and it’s taking off and we’ve got some really good people that are involved with it now,” Walls said. “It’s been a really neat progression over the last 20 years and I see the momentum continuing.”
Shields said that local businesses and organizations are really getting behind them and supporting the tournament.
“We are thrilled to say the least and love the support we are receiving as the sport grows here in our community,” Shields said. “If you would like to sponsor the tournament whether by cash, prizes for the raffle, or even materials for the course we would love to hear from you.”
Contact Serge Gosselin at (250)-423-7922 or email@example.com.”