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Partners in Pride: How Throw Pink is bringing disc golf to underrepresented communities

Partners in Pride: How Throw Pink is bringing disc golf to underrepresented communities

This year’s Pride Collection is a collaboration between Savage and some of our partners that also care deeply about LGBTQIA+ rights. We called this effort “Partners in Pride,” because the focus is on working together to spread awareness, raise funds, and increase visibility and inclusivity in sports.

We’ve worked with each one of our partners to create unique Pride jerseys that they can promote to their followers in the hopes that we can increase exposure to the cause. We will also be running a series of blog posts highlighting how each of these organizations works to support the LGBTQIA+ community. 

First up, we spoke with Sara Nicholson, co-founder of Throw Pink, about using sports to advocate for women’s health and their mission to grow the sport and make disc golf more accessible and inclusive across all genders, ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. 


How did you get into playing disc golf? What drew you to the sport?

Sara Nicholson: I was first introduced to disc golf by my brother. I learned to play during my summers working out in Yellowstone National Park.

My family is very competitive. We love playing games. From baseball to board games — anything with a score. What hooked me about disc golf right away is that you can play by yourself, with a group, just for fun, or in an organized competition. I love being outdoors. Disc golf combines my love for sports and nature into one beautiful and fun activity.

 Throw Pink Women's Disc Golf Charity Tournament Event

 

What inspired you to use disc golf as a way to build awareness and help fight cancer?

SN: My Grandmother had breast cancer when I was born. My parents named me after her. Cancer has always been a conversation in my family. When I ran my first women's event in 2011, I paired it with a local breast cancer charity. I was overwhelmed with the amount of support the charity received from the disc golf women. Throw Pink was born out of that event. Being able to combine something that you love with something that makes an impact is an amazing feeling. Since that first event, Throw Pink has evolved to focus on all aspects of women's health initiatives.

 

How have you and Throw Pink been involved with the LGBTQIA+ community? Why is this important to the organization? Why is this important to you? How do you hope to grow your involvement in the future?  

SN: I have always personally been an advocate and supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community. Our partnership with Savage is Throw Pink's first initiative specifically geared toward the community. We hope this is only the beginning of our outreach and support. 

Disc golf has the potential to provide fulfillment, growth, fun, and health to people of all races, ethnicities, genders, and sexualities. Disc golf can be played successfully by all ages and skill levels. Most disc golf courses are free, and you only need one disc to play. It is truly one of the most inclusive and accessible sports. 
At Throw Pink, we try to be intentional about engaging new players. Since our inception, our volunteers have hosted 72 events with 3,451 participants in 21 states, and three countries. This is just the beginning. Our goal is to be in every city, state, and country on the planet to give more women and girls access to the growth experienced through sports and outdoor recreation. Lofty, I know, but I'm only 42, I have at least another 40 good years to make this happen. 
We pair our events with local charities — raising money and introducing disc golf to their communities. We look forward to using this same model to introduce disc golf to more members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

 

Partners in Pride Throw Pink Rainbow Disc Golf Jersey  

 

What’s unique about being a woman or queer athlete in disc golf? How do you think the LBGTQIA+ community in disc golf compares to other sports? 

SN: Women make up a small percentage of disc golfers, specifically competitive disc golfers. It's powerful how the women, and many of the men as well in the disc golf community, work together to grow women's participation in the sport.  

While the LGBTQIA+ community also makes up a smaller portion of the disc golf community as a whole, there are powerful queer voices amongst athletes, ambassadors, and members of the PDGA governing board looking to expand LGBTQIA+ involvement. We look forward to continuing to be a part of this.

 

 Throw Pink Women's Disc Golf Charity Tournament Event

 

Why is getting more women involved in disc golf so important? What are some of Throw Pink’s initiatives and programs designed to get more women interested in the sport?

SN: In addition to my work with Throw Pink, I also serve on the PDGA Women's Committee and the World Flying Disc Federation's (WFDF) disc golf committee and Women in Sport Commission. WFDF is putting in the work right now on some initiatives for gender equity in flying disc sports. I'm excited to be part of the conversation.

Giving more women and girls opportunities to participate in sports and outdoor recreation through the game of disc golf is my life's work. Sports provide essential health and developmental components (self-esteem and confidence) that many girls are missing out on due to the lack of programs and resources in their communities.

It's not just about the competition side of things, disc golf is fun to just play, and it's a great way to get exercise without even realizing you’re exercising. I would love to see more women out on the course.

Our fun clinics provide an environment in which all who participate can feel safe and welcome. This helps encourage new players to the game. We also work with youth initiatives, start them young. Our Throw Pink team was formed to promote more women's leadership in the sport by supporting and training more women to be event directors in their communities. If women see other women doing it, they'll be more encouraged to try it.

 

What are your thoughts on getting the LGBTQIA+ and POC communities more involved with playing disc golf? What initiatives does Throw Pink take to foster inclusivity and diversity?  

SN: Disc golf is for everyone. I would love to see the demographic that plays disc golf to be a better representation of the human beings on the planet.

At Throw Pink, we try to create a fun and safe atmosphere for new people to experience and learn the game of disc golf. We host a variety of different events in the hopes of finding a format that appeals to everyone. 


How can other organizations help bring disc golf to a more diverse community? 

SN: Reach out to us. We can help you bring disc golf to your community.

 

What are your hopes for the future of the sport?

SN: Positive growth. More people from all walks of life playing. More communities getting behind the fun outdoor recreation that disc golf provides.

 

Shop the Throw Pink Pride Jersey and the rest of our Partners in Pride Collection. A portion of all sales will be donated to the Center for Black Equity and Side by Side.

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Disc Golf Pro Tour is Back! Here’s What You Need to Know

Disc Golf Pro Tour is Back! Here’s What You Need to Know

Some much-needed good news came to the Disc Golf community today when Disc Golf Pro Tour (DGPT) made the big announcement that they will return to Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) Elite Series sanctioned play this June. The Tour came to a grinding halt on March 13, 2020, in the middle of the Waco Annual Charity Open in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Disc Golf Pro Tour’s announcement came on the same day as the PDGA update that 23 states and 11 countries are now available for PDGA sanctioning. While we’re starting to see sports and other businesses open up again, COVID-19 is still a major concern and both the PDGA and the DGPT have presented detailed plans outlining new policies and best practices to keep players and staff safe during events. 


The Disc Golf Pro Tour will restart in the Midwest in Emporia, KS, with a brand new event — The Dynamic Discs Open on June 26-28. The San Francisco Open and Portland Open have both been canceled in order to stay in alignment with local government guidelines. The Portland Open will be replaced by another new event — the Preserve Championship in Clearwater, MN on July 3-5. The Jonesboro Open has been rescheduled to Oct 1-3. With these changes, the DGPT will continue to have an Elite Series consisting of 11 events, as originally planned. The Tour also plans on keeping 7 of 9 original Silver Series events for a schedule of 18 total events in 2020. 


To protect the safety of players, staff, and volunteers, the DGPT has outlined a detailed three-phased approach to resuming play. When the Tour resumes in June with Phase 1, there will be strict precautions in place. The Phase 1 guidelines include:

  • Spectator-free events
  • No caddies
  • Sanitization of common surfaces and hand sanitizer available during play
  • Enforcement of social distancing measures, requiring all players, staff, and media to stay at least 6 feet away from each other at all times 
  • Group sizes will be limited to three
  • Field sizes will be reduced for speed of play and to allow for better social distancing

The DGPT will also provide optional COVID-19 testing for all players. If any player shows possible symptoms of COVID-19 or has come into contact with someone who has tested positive, testing and a negative result will be required in order to participate in the event. 


Once state and local governments declare that it’s safe for gatherings of 50 or more people, Phase 2 of the DGPT safety procedures will go into effect. During Phase 2, limited spectators will be allowed and players will be grouped into foursomes. Testing, social distancing, and sanitization procedures established in Phase 1 will continue in Phase 2. 


While it will be quite different than what we’ve seen in past years, we’re unbelievably excited to see the Tour return. As a DGPT partner and with several members of our Savage Squad participating, we’re unbelievably excited about this news and for the future of Disc Golf. We can’t wait to follow the coverage and cheer everyone on while social distancing in our homes.

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Avery Jenkins Joins Team Savage

Avery Jenkins Joins Team Savage
We're so proud to announce that the 2009 Disc Golf World Champion, Avery Jenkins has signed with Savage as his apparel partner. We first met Avery at the US Disc Golf Championship in 2015. We instantly hit it off with Avery and his story of playing Ultimate frisbee at the University of Oregon. We had just entered the Disc Golf world and he was extremely supportive of what Savage was ready to bring to the sport. 

Fast forward two years and we finally sealed the deal making Avery the first sponsored disc golf player for Savage! We have collaborated with Avery to bring his apparel line to life. Be sure to check back regularly for updates to his collection. Avery will be sporting Savage gear while he's out on the course playing, coaching and commenting.

Avery was awarded the PDGA Rookie of the Year in 2000 as his professional career took off. Quickly rising in rankings and winning majors, he won the World Champion title in 2009. Avery is still playing competitively and focuses on the growth of the sport. He's a commentator for the Disc Golf World Tour and even did trick shots with our buddy Brodie Smith

We're looking forward to a great future with Avery. Make sure you check out the Avery Jenkins Pro Shop.
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