Wanaka youth club Kahu Youth has teamed up with the Wanaka Disc Golf Club to grow an informal sport into a game for champions.
It is a year-round game you could play with your dog and a $6 frisbee, for the fun of getting a frisbee in a basket.
In the professional disc golf world people compete for modest amounts of cash.
Disc golf’s origins probably emerged about the time people started throwing things.
By the 1970s, a professional association had emerged and world championships were under way.
Wanaka now has the most disc golf courses in New Zealand (Lismore Park, Eely Point, Lake Hawea and Albert Town).
Club members competing at national championships have included Hayley Flintoff, of Wanaka, who has had 41 wins during her five-year professional career, earning a grand total of $2082.14.
Kahu Youth and Richard Liew, the secretary of Disc Golf Wanaka, simply aim to get people outdoors.
Kahu Youth programmes and events co-ordinator Samantha Strong said the club recently received a $1000 grant from Tu Manawa Active Aotearoa Fund to improve youth, particularly girls’, participation in the outdoors.
“It’s something other to do than dance, which is huge in Wanaka. I am glad they are all dancing their toes off but there are some wanting other activities,” she said.
The funding would help keep costs of after-school activities down so more people could try anything from sailing to rock climbing, she said.
The past two years of Covid-19 restrictions had promoted self isolation and online activities.
It was important to entice people back outside and “have plain old fun” while working on leadership and communication, she said.
Kahu Youth’s Disc Golf sessions kicked off in mid-2021.
There are now between 10 and 15 regular youth players and Ms Strong hopes more will give it a go.
Mr Liew is the publisher of online magazine, New Zealand Entrepreneur.
The former accountant and sales workforce recruiter is also a business mentor and a trustee on Queenstown Lakes Start Up Trust.
He was delighted the club could partner up with Kahu Youth and give back to the community.
The club purchased about 100 frisbees for the club in December. Club members also help coach Kahu Youth members.
“In Wanaka, we have the highest number of disc golfers in New Zealand and also some of the best athletes,” Mr Liew said.