Brooklyn O’Krafka is selling personalized, artist-designed discs through her Instagram page to help raise funds for tournaments this year.Jaimie O’Krafka photo

Thirteen-year-old Brooklyn O’Krafka began playing disc golf as a pandemic pastime with her family — now, she’s a national and provincial junior champion in the sport.

The Brant County youngster’s coach is “YouTube,” she said with a laugh, adding that many people in the disc golf community have “reached out and helped me improve my game.”

After a successful last year — travelling for tournaments as far away as Thunder Bay and Illinois — she’s looking ahead to this season, with hopes of reaching the Professional Disc Golf Association’s Junior Disc Golf World Championships in Oklahoma.

Through the winter, the Paris teen regularly trekked to the Bronte Creek course in Oakville to practise her putting indoors — it’s the skill she said she is “most proud of.”

She’s also spent hours honing her skills in a practice area set up in her backyard, and on the Green Lane Sports Complex public course in Paris, a park she said offers a “really good variety” of holes — some in open areas, perfect for practising a variety of throws, others in treed zones, requiring more technical throws.

Thirteen-year-old Brooklyn O’Krafka began playing disc golf as a pandemic pastime with her family — now, she’s a national and provincial junior champion in the sport.

While the county boasts an active disc golf community, O’Krafka hasn’t connected with many local youth in the sport — something she’s working to change.

Her performance last year earned her a sponsorship with Latitude 64, a Swedish company that makes disc golf supplies, and they’re providing her with “a bunch of free clinic discs and supplies” she’s excited to bring to her school to help introduce peers to the sport, she said.

This year, she is also excited to debut artist-designed personalized stickers and discs she’ll sell through her Instagram page to help offset the cost of tournaments.

For other youngsters interested in trying the sport, the County of Brant Public Library has a beginner kit for members to borrow, and is hosting a learn-to-play event on Apr. 24 with the Paris Disc Golf Club at the Green Lane Sports Complex.

Celeste Percy-Beauregard’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. The funding allows her to report on stories about Brant County. Reach her at cpercybeauregard@torstar.ca.

By Celeste Percy-Beauregard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Apr 12, 2024 at 07:10

This item reprinted with permission from   The Spectator   Hamilton, Ontario
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