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Tournament Director, Fabián Oloarte, has a passion for expanding disc golf in Mexico. He connected with Dynamic Discs in February, and their partnership helped this tournament to grow in its second year. Last year, there was a registration period of two months to fill 45 tournament spots. This year, it took only 24 hours to fill the 80 available tournament spots.
“We could have done more (spots), but we only had nine baskets,” said Oloarte. Oloarte is confident that this tournament was an important start for disc golf growth in Mexico. He says it is his life goal for more people to know the joy of disc golf and he is excited to see that impact on others. “From now on it is going to keep growing,” said Oloarte. “A lot of people have gotten inspired and not just in terms of the level of the event, but the quality of the players has improved so much.”
During this event, disc golfers from across the country met and formed the Mexican Disc Golf Federation. The vision for the federation is to grow the sport, network as players, and increase awareness. Newly elected vice president of the federation, Vale Setzler, was excited to see the increase in female participants, and looks forward to seeing that number grow next year too.
The schedule for the event was action-packed with a flex start on Thursday, and three rounds for all divisions from Friday to Saturday, with a distance competition on Friday. There was a player’s party and awards ceremony Saturday night with local live music. The tournament was capped off with a doubles round Sunday morning.
To support this effort, Dynamic Discs flew down 2018 Tournament Director of the Year, Doug Bjerkaas, to offer administrative support and tournament guidance. Media producer Danny Lindahl also joined to capture round coverage. 2018 World Champion Paige Shue joined the team and assisted with event setup, and participated in the Mixed Division.
Shue enjoyed the opportunity not only to enjoy the good food and beautiful views of Cocoyoc but also to experience some of her own heritage.
“My mother’s father was born and raised in Mexico, and it’s so cool to be surrounded by the culture my grandparents grew up in,” said Shue. “It's also special to see disc golf here in a completely different culture that means so much to our family. There couldn’t be a better place for us to be this week.”
Echoing Paige, her mother, Noemi Bjerkaas stressed how inclusive this tournament, and disc golf in general, is. “I felt so included on this course,” Bjerkaas said. “I know I’m older, but there were actually a couple other ladies around my age and it was such a joy that the younger girls included us in the fun. Disc Golf in Mexico is all-inclusive for everybody because Mexicans love everybody.”
“Mexico is a wonderful country and I’m so glad that disc golf has finally come and I can’t wait to see the BOOM and I can’t wait to be a part of it,” Bjerkaas said.
The motto of the tournament; Hagamos crecer el deporte or “Grow the sport” is reflected through this event, and will continue for years to come.