Students excel at learning disc golf

Penticton Centre for Exceptional Learning (EXCEL) learnd disc golf with help of club members

Throwing a disc around a Friday afternoon change things up for students from the Penticton Centre for Exceptional Learning.

“We spend a lot of time over at the park at Skaha, but it’s good to change it up and have a structured activity for them,” said Kelsie Richards, who works with three students at the centre designed and staffed for students with high functioning autism.

The group of 11 spent part of the day playing disc golf with members of the Penticton Disc Golf Club (PDGC) at their Rotary Marina View Disc Golf Course above Okanagan Lake.

Ava Piggott didn’t have a good impression of the sport to start, but as she has improved, she is enjoying it more.

“I think it’s just really fun seeing how close people get and the tension of the game,” said Piggott. “One time I just plopped it down and it did go in the basket. It was quite ridiculous.”

What has made the game enjoyable for her is seeing how she keeps getting the disc closer to the basket. The coaching from the Penticton Disc Golf Club members has been helpful.

“It’s definitely an eye opener,” said Russ Clark of PDGC of teaching them. “You have got kids of all different levels. These kids are so energetic. It is very fulfilling for sure. Just being able to give back to the kids.”

Clark said the club is trying to promote the sport and doing it by targeting youth. The club was approached by the school to provide a few sessions with its students.

“Six or seven of them are really good throwers. The rest of them enjoy it,” said Clark. “They seem to be picking it up really well. As we’re watching them play, they are all starting to throw further and further.”

For Clark and the club, they just wanted the kids to have fun regardless of how they play.

Tucker Ferguson found this style of golf easier to play than the one with the small ball. The need to hit the ball precisely can be hard.

“In frisbee golf, you just throw it and you can adjust it easily,” said Ferguson, whose favourite summer sport is throwing a frisbee. “It’s a very fun feeling. when you throw it far, you feel really good inside. Like you have just done something incredible.”

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