How do we usher disc golf into the mainstream?
These are my thoughts and some of the things I am doing.
We need to get more youth involved as we all know. The schools systems are probably the best avenue to reach our goals. The challenge is to get the school's sports activities directors on board. These folks are mostly overwhelmed with other already mainstream sports activities and can be hard to win to our cause as they know very little of the benefits our sport offers. I believe that if they knew of the benefits of disc golf, it would be a no brainer for them to support implementation.
My experience with parks and recreation outreach has been that I present a comprehensive plan that includes a property, a course design, a list of private sponsors, liability insurance naming the town as additionally insured and my willingness to see the project through to completion at minimal expense to the town. Town council members recognize the potential win for their community and they vote my project in as a no brainer. Selling the idea of implementation to the schools is a bit more challenging and I think we must go to the top of the chain where policy can be formulated then directed to the school systems, namely, our state senators.
I think the PDGA should create an invitational Task Force of volunteer PDGA state representatives (not tournament coordinators). These representatives can act together in reaching out to our respective senators, governors, mayors and school superintendents with the expressed desire of getting disc golf programs into the public school system. Imagine if we all made calls, emails and tweets to these folks on the same day, nationwide. It would create quite a stir and get us the attention we need. I created a simple curriculum that I believe will help math and physical education teachers as well as students to learn and grow together through the implementation of disc golf programs, leagues, team building and math outside the classroom alternatives.
I have already met with representatives at the federal level who are in favor of disc golf implementation to the schools. I have been directed to work at the state level as the various school systems have unique processes and protocols which must be followed. This is why I am presenting the idea of a PDGA State Representative Task Force. There are federal funds available for healthy programs like ours once the schools come on board. We PDGA state representatives have to help schools create infrastructure into which these funds will flow and we have to be willing to volunteer our services of installing practice baskets on school properties, analyzing potential course locations in proximity to the schools, providing clinics and instruction manuals and giving hands on training to coaches and teachers. In time the benefits of disc golf will be broadly recognized and there will be opportunities to derive income through our services to the states. I created a simple curriculum called '3-7-11'which fits easily into the 101, 102, 103 and 104 format. I am moving forward to get New Mexico Schools to use it. I would be honored to share it with this committee. We are better off presenting a comprehensive, coordinated, cohesive and integrated 50 state plan of action. I am building a website ramdgo.com to help facilitate this plan of action and it will be up and running soon. I welcome questions or discussion from committee members.
Blessings, Dave Smith