Each year on March 8, International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world to “mark the economic, political, and social achievements of women”. Although this holiday is not so well-known here in the United States, countries such as Russia celebrate International Women’s Day by giving flowers to the important women in their lives, much like we would celebrate Mother’s day. The International Women’s Day website created the theme The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum to celebrate 2013. Women in the world, and in disc golf, continue “Gaining Momentum” to build equality in the workplace and on the course.
Taking this theme to heart, Myrriah Gomez #40238, decided to celebrate IWD by running the Inaugural International Women’s Day Disc Golf Tournament at Brent Baca Memorial Disc Golf Course, Albuquerque, New Mexico. This event’s focus was around the women players and the support of Young Women United, a membership led organizing project created by and for young women of color.
On the morning of the tournament, snow flurries and constant 30 mph winds blew in to make the course play more difficult than usual. Despite the inclement weather, the event attracted 67 players from around New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona. In this first year, the event made history with the most women players in a tournament in New Mexico with a total of 20 women, all of whom are amateur players. This also happened to be the first sanctioned tournament for six of the women (and many of the men) and the first tournament ever for two of the women.
The most excitement was in the Advanced women’s division, which happened to be the largest division of 12 competitors. Melissa Berryhill #45646 and Maria Diaz tied after the two rounds and went into a playoff. Maria started playing disc golf just five months ago, but is a former softball player at New Mexico Highlands University and has a natural 300 feet forehand throw. After 2 holes, perhaps experience outweighed in the situation as Melissa defeated Maria in the playoff.
While these ladies had a intense battle, the hottest women’s round of the day, 66, was thrown by local advanced grandmaster, Carrie Brodeur #27924 (pictured below). Carrie respectively shot a 73 in her second round, winning her division by 20.
It was also a close race in the Men’s Open division, as local and course caretaker, Jeremiah Jacobsen #13959, defeated Marcos Castillo #39338 by one stroke. Jeremiah takes pride in The Baca and also hosts an annual non-sanctioned event, The Winter Classic, at the course. A full list of participants and results from the tournament are available on the International Women's Day event's page.
This event raised $415 to donate to Young Women United. This Alburquerque-based organization focuses on changing the relations of power by educating local communities to take action to reduce the violence, improve the health, and build power. YWU aims to build a strong community based on mutual respect, personal and communal growth, and friendship. Several members of YWU braved the cold and wind to come watch the tournament and take pictures. After seeing disc golf firsthand, they are eager to start learning the sport and they are planning to host a group event at the disc golf course.
Myrriah looks forward to hosting the 2nd Annual International Women’s Day event in 2014. She has plans on attracting more sponsors, making it a two-day tournament, and transitioning the event to be for women only. Setting the record in NM for the largest women’s competitors; we think Myrriah has started a great tradition. It has been over 10 years since Albuquerque hosted a PDGA sanctioned event, and we are glad to hear it was such a positive one!
-Valarie Jenkins #17495
Chairperson, PDGA Women's Committee
"Dedicated to Attract, Encourage, and Retain Female Participation in Organized Disc Golf Events"