Fun and Joy
A deep team from the Paul McBeth Foundation led by Zachary Smith, Director of Operations, and including their media team members as well as touring pros Missy Gannon and Chandler Fry, together with Zambia’s top players, Wilborn Munkombwe and Melody Kawadza, arrived in Uganda, the “Pearl of Africa,” a few days ago. I am privileged to represent PDGA as part of the team following visits to the neighboring and PDGA affiliated countries of Ethiopia and Kenya.
Here in Uganda the mission is to deliver the foundation’s Project 2.3, consisting of 2 “birth of disc golf in Africa” development initiatives. The first of these is located in the Lake Victoria-side small town of Katosi, located in Mukono district, about 60 km east of the capital Kampala. Beyond the foundation itself the primary contributors to these good works are Ledgestone, UDisc, and the PDGA’s Marco Polo Program.
The Katosi project is a humble, humanitarian undertaking, involving the introduction of our beloved game and the installation of a short 9 hole course on the grounds of the Winner’s Community School, home to 800 primary and secondary level students. About half of these children are orphans, most of whom have lost their parent(s) to the scourge of HIV/AIDS. The aim of this charitable initiative is to provide these kids with a recreational activity that will bring more fun and joy into their lives.
The project has its roots in the three months placement of Leah Cole, a staff member from Eagles Wings Disc Golf in Katosi. Eagles Wings is renowned for building Zambia Disc Golf amongst other developing world disc golf initiatives including in Costa Rica & Brazil. In Katosi, the volunteer worked with Bishop Timothy Kakooza, new member #236540, a quite remarkable and inspirational man, who they in turn introduced to the Paul McBeth Foundation. Pastor Timothy is the local driving force behind the project, he and the community have welcomed us with open arms.
In his own words, “children are the future generation, investing in them builds the legacy ahead. When they come to know disc golf, they will love it.”
There has been one small setback, reflecting “TIA” (This is Africa), but that has not deterred the PMF. The partial container-full of baskets and discs that departed USA several months ago, and that arrived in the Kenyan Indian Ocean-side city of Mombasa in October, is still sitting in the port. With luck and effort they will soon be delivered to Uganda. In the meantime, the team members from USA brought 5 portables and 200 discs in their luggage allowances so that the show can proceed as scheduled.
In terms of the project’s initial impact, the accompanying photos tell more than can be put into words. It has been a wonderful and uplifting few days for the team, skills-transferring the basics of how to play and watching the schoolkids and their teachers’ first ever throws take flight.
After you read this, please consider becoming a Builders Club member with the Paul McBeth Foundation. Your support will enable them and their partners to continue and to expand these selfless works that introduce our sport to less fortunate locales, like Uganda, around the world. Thank you.