Small business owners team up to bring disc golf to school kids thanks to $10K ‘activation’ grant

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Bill Seney (left) snags a selfie with celebrity professional disc golfer James Conrad when Conrad was spotted in Manchester last September. Courtesy Photo

MANCHESTER, NH – Bill and Alli Seney, owners of the ManchVegas Brew Bus, announced Thursday that they, along with two fellow small businesses, were awarded a $10,000 city grant to install disc golf baskets at each of Manchester’s 12 elementary schools, and donate up to 1,000 discs to young students.

Bill Seney said he has partnered with Manchester businesses Boards and Brews and Breakin’ Chains, a disc golf store on South Willow Street, to acquire discs and install the baskets. Seney and Boards and Brews owner Keating Tufts are avid disc golfers.

Seney said the game is gaining in popularity as a COVID-safe, year-round outdoor sport. And Manchester has two large disc golf courses, Hollows North and Hollows South.

“Along with the booming popularity of disc golf with the pandemic… we thought it would be the appropriate time to get some kids into the game,” Seney said.

Alton Seney, 5, ready to take her shot at The Hollows disc golf course in Manchester. Photo/Bill Seney

Kids take to the sport naturally, he said. Recently, he drove a group of families to the Hollows South with young kids no older than 6 years old.

“And it was an absolute hit,” Seney said.

He said the city offered grants up to $10,000 using leftover federal COVID funds for a first round of Community Event and Activation Grants (CEAG) for projects to beautify or enhance the city in some way. 

“I would like to get started as soon as possible,” he said.

An example of a Dynamic Discs disc golf basket, which retails for about $300 according to the company website. Image/dynamicdiscs.com

The plan is to work with Breakin’ Chains and Dynamic Discs to try to obtain a bulk youth discount on the equipment, then work with each of the elementary school leaders to figure out the best locations for a disc golf basket on school property.

Seney said physical education teacher Kyle Donovan at Webster Elementary School has been teaching his students some frisbee games in anticipation of this grant.

Installation will be done in part by Seney and the other partnering businesses, for a contribution of about $2,500-worth of volunteer hours – a requirement of the grant application.

He expects all the installations to be completed by fall, and then they’ll donate the discs to the students in the top grades of each elementary school.

Manchester is home to two popular disc golf courses, The Hollows north and south.

Once everything is in place, Seney hopes to continue the program with sponsorships from area businesses to continue providing discs to future cohorts of students. He said the discs themselves are only about 10 to 20 percent of their overall budget.

“So it’s a much easier fundraising campaign, year two, once the baskets are installed,” Seney said.

He also envisions some educational clinics on disc golf and an annual youth tournament.

“In the grand plan, what we would really like to do is to show the kids the game, and get the baskets installed at the school. And then for the kids who are really interested, doing a field trip to the Hollows,” Seney said.

If anyone is interested in donating to the program or sponsoring future tournament events, contact Bill Seney at bill.seney@gmail.com.


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Ryan Lessard

Ryan Lessard is a freelance reporter.