The PDGA Innovation Grant Program was created to increase and promote the awareness of the sport of disc golf and the Professional Disc Golf Association. Applicants are encouraged to think outside of the box to develop innovative and unique programs which will promote the sport and increase participation. Eighteen applications were received by the PDGA office prior to the December 2nd deadline for consideration for the second wave of these $500 grants to be awarded in 2013.
The recipients of the five PDGA Innovation Grants and the locations of the projects to be funded are:
- Skyler Babcock, Columbia, MO. – The Columbia Disc Golf Boosters’ primary goal is to raise awareness of the sport by supporting a curriculum to teach disc golf in schools. They are in the process of relocating some old targets to the schools and require funds to build tee signs and teepads. They have support from local businesses, the EDGE program and the PTA of the school system. Ultimately, there will be several three-hole courses used by the schools in the area.
- Allen Thornhill, Thomasville, GA.- The Red Hills Disc Golf Club is hosting a number of disc golf clinics and gatherings at the local YMCA to hopefully foster and raise awareness about the sport in their local community. They have also developed a “disc bank” to gather discs from their club members to provide to participants of the clinics, but for now, the YMCA needs money to buy equipment necessary to run the clinics. Once the materials are purchased, they will become the property of the YMCA so the program will continue and disc golf will be one of many sports offered at the Y.
- Joan Hackbarth, Cedar Rapids, IA.- Tanager Place is a psychiatric medical center that is home to 68 children struggling with severe emotional and mental diagnoses. Tanager would like to install two disc golf baskets so as to include disc golf as an inclusive recreation activity for the patients. Disc golf will be taught as not only a positive recreation outlet, but also as an outlet to learn essential life lessons.
- Jeffery Filipek, Pierre, SD. - Jeff is the YMCA Executive Director for the Sioux YMCA on the Cheyenne Indian Reservation. The Native American population is one that typically has socio-economic disadvantages. Many youth come from poor families and lack fitness opportunities. Jeff wants to institute a disc golf program at the YMCA next summer, and also teach disc golf in PE classes at the Pierre Indian Learning Center. There is already a weekly summer league and small events that take place in the area. Funds will be used to purchase discs for the participants and $100 will be reserved as entry fees for those who wish to participate, but do not have the money.
- Mark Stephens, Grand Blanc, MI. - A one-day, free tournament called “Stars and Stripes Forever”, would be strictly for men and women who are Active military and Veterans. The goal is to provide a series of clinics in the morning (hosted by local pros from the Black Ace Disc Golf Club), followed by a free lunch and one round of competitive play. Each participant will receive a free disc to encourage future rounds once the event is complete. Funds will be used to purchase discs and trophies, rent pavilions, and buy lunch for the competitors and staff.
The PDGA office wishes to thank everyone who submitted an application for this round of grants. Applicants who were not chosen this time are encouraged to re-submit their applications for consideration in June 2014. Five additional grants will be awarded in mid-June of 2014 with an application deadline of June 2, 2014. Information, guidelines and an application for the PDGA Innovation Grants program can be found here.
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