Wednesday, June 6, was an evening most Ottawans will likely remember as fairly unremarkable...if they remember it at all. Dull. Uneventful. Dare I say, boring? Just another ordinary Wednesday evening to nearly everyone else in the city was anything but ordinary to the 40 individuals who gathered on the freshly-mown Forest Park grass at 6 p.m. Why they gathered can be summed up in two words: disc golf.
Twelve years ago, the Ottawa Rotary Club successfully installed the current disc golf course in Kanza Park after championing the cause for nearly three years. It was a long-fought, visionary move by the group that continues to make significant and meaningful improvements to our community. Since 2006, the sport of disc golf has grown exponentially and shows no sign of slowing in popularity.
As a member of the Kanza Disc Golf Club it is beyond exciting to see a second course slated to be installed in Forest Park this summer. I love the sport, but there’s something more to it than that.
I’m a local kid...an Ottawa High School graduate who married my high school sweetheart 25 years ago. My dad, an Ottawa business owner who passed away last September, taught me many things. One of the most important is this: stuff doesn’t matter, people do. You see, in the last 10 years that I’ve been slinging discs at Kanza Park, I’ve met players from other cities, other states, and even other countries who were in little, ol’ Ottawa playing disc golf. Some of these people have become my close friends. What’s more, I’ve spent countless hours through the years playing disc golf with my (now adult) sons, and now my four-year-old daughter has a set of discs all her own. Time together, shared experiences, and memories made are the intangibles that make disc golf as a whole worth much more than the sum of all its parts.
June 6th at 6 p.m. was simply another example of what makes playing disc golf a worthy expenditure of a person’s time. All of the individuals present were at Forest Park for one reason: to throw discs on a temporary course set up to test the new course layout. It was quite a sizeable group for a course that doesn’t even exit yet. It matters.
What matters more to me are those with whom I shared that experience. Teenagers, college students, men and women in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. Bankers, bikers, business owners, construction workers, blue collar, and white collar. Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Methodists, atheists, and agnostics. Grandfathers and grandsons. Parents and children. Neighbors, strangers, friends, Romans, countrymen...lend me your ears. It’s because people matter that it’s not just about disc golf.