A group of Crossfield students have been hard at work building a nine-hole disc golf course in Veterans Peace Park.
Mark Lang, group leader with Airdrie 4-H Helping Hands, said the idea for the course was inspired by a camping trip in 2018 that involved the sport.
“We really enjoyed playing it and we thought about what we could do to bring one to Crossfield,” Lang said. “We thought this would be a great project for the boys to work on.”
Disc golf is similar to golf but is played with a frisbee. According to Lang, there is a tee-off pit where participants stand to throw their first shot. The goal is to get your frisbee in the basket, which serves as the hole, in the least amount of throws.
The main objective of 4-H is to teach young people helpful skills, Lang said. Since building the disc golf course would involve a lot of welding to build the baskets, he thought it would be the perfect opportunity to teach the members a helpful skill.
“They would come in after school and on weekends,” Lang said. “We fundraised for materials, and the boys themselves had to do a presentation to Crossfield’s town council.”
Around five students in grades 6, 10 and 11 have been involved in the project. Lang said the kids help out for a few hours each week. Scouting a location, learning architectural drafts and engineering, designing the disc baskets and learning different types of welds and machines were among the tasks they’ve helped with.
According to Lang, the course was supposed to be open in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted those plans, delaying the installation of the baskets and other components.
“We picked back up recently, but we were too late on getting the baskets in the ground,” he said. “We are planning to start back up on spring break, but nothing will be in the ground for another six months.”
Gravel for the tee-off area was donated by the Town of Crossfield, along with old street signs that will be displayed at each basket on the new course. Although Lang didn’t know how much money was fundraised for the course, he said it cost a little more than $200 for each basket to be fabricated.
“Overall, it will be a great value to Crossfield,” Lang said. “This can be played year-round. There is no age or gender limit, it will be available to everyone all the time.”
Lang said some of the students involved in building the course have already built upon the skills they’ve learned.
“Two of them have taken their experience to the next level,” he said. “In Grade 11, believe it or not, they are already working at Strike Energy. The program has helped them gain a lot of confidence. They definitely grow very quickly.”
If everything goes well in the spring, Lang said, the course will be open for the public by the Victoria Day long weekend in May.