The Paul McBeth Foundation is thrilled to announce its final 2023 project, which finds the organization returning to Africa.
Project 3.5 brings two courses to Zambia in an exciting collaboration with an educational non-profit, who manages two schools in the South-Central African nation. This project is a significant step toward addressing the need for accessible disc golf courses on the continent while continuing to spread the joy of the sport. The ideal outcome is for these two disc golf courses, in Ndola and Kasama, to catalyze the sport's expansion across Zambia.
Six-time disc golf world champion and organization founder Paul McBeth expressed his enthusiasm for Project 3.5, noting that, with its diverse cultures and communities, Africa is ripe for growth.
"We recognize the need for disc golf in Africa, and we are eager to share this transformative opportunity with the communities of Kasama and Ndola," McBeth said. "This project not only signifies the growth of the sport in Zambia, but also the continued growth of disc golf opportunities worldwide."
In early December, the Paul McBeth Foundation will extend its African journey, first installing Project 3.4 - Olangama in Uganda before team members trek to Zambia for this build. In both countries, PMF volunteers will provide disc golf education and instruction to the local communities and school children, as the organization aims to nurture a lasting interest in the sport and empower local citizens to continue fostering its growth.
The baskets that will be used for Project 3.5 are being built through established relationships with Wilborn Munkombwe, PDGA #114159, who serves as Zambia's Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) Country Coordinator. These local connections ensure that the project aligns with the specific needs and interests of the communities in Zambia and creates a pathway for endless opportunities for disc golf to continue exponential growth in this area of the world.
“For all disc golf projects undertaken in new and developing countries, the training and empowerment of local leaders and stakeholders is crucial to their success. In the case of the eastern and southern region of Africa, the most knowledgeable and experienced person is the PDGA Country Coordinator, Wilborn Munkombwe,” said PDGA International Director Brian Hoeniger. “He has been trained in basket manufacturing, course design, and teaching locals how to play. Not only has Wilborn been involved since the introduction of the original course in his home village of Macha, he has become Africa’s top player and is now the lead responsible for the design and installation of more courses in Zambia – all of which are being sustained by the local communities. Thus, the Zambian example provides not only an appropriate model for other African countries to replicate, but also the opportunity to invite and learn directly from Wilborn in a first-hand skills transfer as they develop their own courses and player base. The PDGA fully supports this methodology.”
This project will also coincide with the celebration of the first-ever graduating class of the school in Ndola. Students who began their educational journey in Kindergarten will proudly graduate in December, marking a significant milestone in the community. With the entire community coming together for this memorable event, the Paul McBeth Foundation will have an opportunity to introduce disc golf to many future disc golfers.
The Paul McBeth Foundation is committed to expanding the global reach of disc golf, fostering the spirit of the sport, and creating opportunities for underserved populations. Project 3.5 is a shining example of the foundation's dedication to using disc golf as a tool for positive change and its belief that everyone, regardless of their location, should have access to the benefits of this exciting and rewarding sport.
The Paul McBeth Foundation extends a big thank you to ZÜCA who is the Gold Sponsor for this project. We appreciate their commitment in supporting our organization to help make this a worldwide sport that anyone can play. Additionally, the PDGA has supported this project in a big way as they share our vision for disc golf to become more accessible to the continent.
For more information about Project 3.5 - Zambia and the Paul McBeth Foundation's ongoing efforts to promote disc golf and create opportunities for underserved communities, please read more about the specifics of the project here.