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Record Breaking

Record Breaking

116 players compete in Uganda

Monday, April 1, 2024 - 23:36

Recap by Shane Robison / Paul McBeth Foundation

Disc Golf Uganda, in conjunction with Ndejje University, recently hosted the Greenzone Disc Golf Championship in March. Ndejje is located just outside Kampala, offering a central location for travel and accommodation within the country. This prime location was one of the key factors in the collaboration between the Paul McBeth Foundation, Ledgestone, and the PDGA to install the first-ever 18 hole course in Uganda on the university's property.

At the time, the Paul McBeth Foundation (PMF) foresaw that the central location of the course, affectionately known as the Greenzone, would one day facilitate tournaments attracting players of all ages, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds. This tournament served as proof that PMF's original vision was indeed accurate, as the event drew significant participation from women and juniors.

Over the weekend, a total of 116 players participated, with 88 juniors and 50 women among them. Notably, the FJ18 division alone featured 28 competitors, surpassing the MJ18 division, which had 20 players.

At the heart of this historic event is Israel Muwanguzi, a visionary who recognized the potential for disc golf in Uganda from its inception. Muwanguzi, a professional and international woodball player, has been entrusted by Ndejje University to spearhead efforts in making disc golf a fully recognized national sport. Supported by a dedicated team of photographers, videographers, administrators, and disc golf coaches, Muwanguzi orchestrated the largest tournament in Ugandan history.

"The tournament was amazing," remarked Israel. "We appreciate and need more support to continue realizing our disc golf dreams. I couldn't have directed this tournament without the invaluable assistance from PMF, the PDGA, and the Gainesville Chain Hawks. Witnessing such unity within the global disc golf family is truly remarkable."

The Gainesville Chain Hawks, a club based in Gainesville, Florida, played a pivotal role in the Greenzone Disc Golf Championship. Chris Clark and Joseph Schoettler volunteered countless hours and significant personal resources to assist Muwanguzi. This support stems from a special partnership between the Chain Hawks and the Paul McBeth Foundation. Moving forward, partners of PMF, such as the Builders Club & Club Partnerships, will continue to play a vital role in helping Muwanguzi realize his vision of expanding the sport nationwide.

"We are now focusing our efforts on western Uganda, where we aim to introduce disc golf to 10 districts in schools, communities, and universities from April 8 to 12," stated Muwanguzi. "At Disc Golf Uganda, we believe that through partnerships, we can elevate the sport to greater heights, allowing us to celebrate our achievements together across the country and around the world."

Already, baskets are being constructed by Ndejje University in Uganda, including those used by Fight for the Forgotten at the recent Project 3.4 - Olangama course installed in 2023.. Ongoing efforts are also underway to produce discs within the country.

The western Disc Golf Uganda tour will further promote the sport's viability and sustainability for years to come, providing new experiences for both children and adults nationwide. Muwanguzi's team will apply the principles learned from UPlay's Disc Golf Basics, a series of principles encapsulated in a book by the same name. These principles were taught by Zoe Andyke and her UPlay colleagues during their visit to Uganda last fall.

All these efforts will culminate in the upcoming Second Annual Crested Crane Classic at Ndejje University on October 5, 2024. With Uganda's explosive growth in the sport, the next PDGA event is poised to once again shatter registration records.

For further details about the Greenzone Disc Golf Championship, you can refer to an article posted by The Monitor, an online publication in Uganda.


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