A Week of Sport Discovery: Golf

Sport Calgary is doing a blog series on the different Sport Calgary member organizations. This blog introduces Calgarians to sports offered in the city they can try. Ryley is an intern at Sport Calgary for the four months between the third and fourth years of her degree. She is pursuing a bachelor of communication, majoring in PR and minoring in marketing and has a passion for sport. Ryley loves trying new activities and finding different ways to get moving and staying active for life. Her main activities are hiking, skiing, yoga, running and surfing, all of which either her mom, boyfriend or dog loves to join her in doing!

This one might be surprising, but I have never played golf before. Golf is a sport that I have wanted to try because it is social and most of my family plays it, but I had never committed to a game until Sunday.

I went with my boyfriend and his parents to Shaganappi Golf Course and played the Valley 9. I’ve been to the driving range before, so I would like to think that I can at least hit the ball, but as soon as we were out on the course it became obvious that was not the case. I enjoyed the first two holes. I was happy to be outside, the course was beautiful and I was still optimistic about my game. We weren’t keeping score thank goodness, so I never had to document the shameful amount of shots it took me to get down the fairway.

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A Week of Sport Discovery: Luge

Sport Calgary is doing a blog series on the different Sport Calgary member organizations. This blog introduces Calgarians to sports offered in the city they can try. Ryley is an intern at Sport Calgary for the four months between the third and fourth years of her degree. She is pursuing a bachelor of communication, majoring in PR and minoring in marketing and has a passion for sport. Ryley loves trying new activities and finding different ways to get moving and staying active for life. Her main activities are hiking, skiing, yoga, running and surfing, all of which either her mom, boyfriend or dog loves to join her in doing!

All of the Olympic sliding sports (bobsled, luge and skeleton) have always intrigued me, especially luge. The idea of racing down a track at 110 km/hr is crazy, but sounds like my kind of crazy. I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie, so I jumped at the chance to try the indoor luge track at WinSport.

WinSport is such a cool place because you are surrounded by some of the best athletes in the country, if not the world. Talk about a place to be inspired! The Ice House in Calgary is also the only place in the world that luge, skeleton and bobsled athletes can practice their starts 365 days a year. Chris took a break from being a coach at the WinSport kids camps that run all summer and was my luge instructor for the day. We got into the track just as the United States national bobsled team was doing their Olympic team trials and Chris got me set up at the luge start.

When we got to the top of the track I started to get nervous. It looked a lot steeper from the top than it did from the side. I thought, is this dangerous? People die doing luge don’t they? But, then again, people can die going to the grocery store so I calmed my nerves and got ready to go. Chris gave me a clunky helmet and demonstrated how to lay on the sled with my arms by my sides and my elbows in, before giving me a push down the track for my first run.

I giggled the whole way down. The track was like the most fun waterslide I had ever been on. The sled I used was a beginner sled with the runners held in place by a metal bar, so I didn’t have to worry about steering (or rather, crashing). My heart was racing at the bottom of the track and I grabbed my sled and ran up for another go.

For the next run I did a real luge start by pulling myself onto the track with metal handles attached to either side of the track. I did a couple more runs and each time was as fun as the last. It was clear that the safety in the Ice House is a priority for WinSport. Chris was saying that the biggest leap for lugers is when they go from the beginner sled to a sled where they have to steer themselves, because the sport becomes much more complex.   

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A Week of Sport Discovery: Foot Golf

Sport Calgary is doing a blog series on the different Sport Calgary member organizations. This blog introduces Calgarians to sports offered in the city they can try. Ryley is an intern at Sport Calgary for the four months between the third and fourth years of her degree. She is pursuing a bachelor of communication, majoring in PR and minoring in marketing and has a passion for sport. Ryley loves trying new activities and finding different ways to get moving and staying active for life. Her main activities are hiking, skiing, yoga, running and surfing, all of which either her mom, boyfriend or dog loves to join her in doing!

I hadn’t heard of foot golf until a week before I tried it. The River Spirit Golf Club emailed Sport Calgary, telling us about foot golf and I thought, I’m not good at golf or soccer, wouldn’t it be fun to combine the two? I booked a tee time the next day. Even though traditional golf players don’t love the idea (foot golf tends to be a little bit loud), River Spirit Golf Club is hoping foot golf will be successful. The owners of the club played in Vancouver and fell in love with the sport, so they brought it back to Calgary and are passionate about giving people a different way to enjoy being outside.

Dylan, the other Sport Calgary intern for the summer, came with me to River Spirit to give foot golf a try. Leif, Director of Golf Operations, met us downstairs, we hopped in our golf carts (I was already having fun because I love driving golf carts) and went to start our game! Foot golf is exactly what it sounds like. You kick a ball down a fairway and into a hole. However, instead of using golf balls you use soccer balls and the hole is 80 yards away, not 350 yards away.

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A Week of Sport Discovery: Track Cycling

Sport Calgary is doing a blog series on the different Sport Calgary member organizations. This blog introduces Calgarians to sports offered in the city they can try. Ryley is an intern at Sport Calgary for the four months between the third and fourth years of her degree. She is pursuing a bachelor of communication, majoring in PR and minoring in marketing and has a passion for sport. Ryley loves trying new activities and finding different ways to get moving and staying active for life. Her main activities are hiking, skiing, yoga, running and surfing, all of which either her mom, boyfriend or dog loves to join her in doing!

I was watching the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro when I saw track cycling for the first time. The match sprints were on, and the two competing cyclists went as slow as they could, trying to get higher on the banking of the track to get in front of their opponent and then drop down to end the race in a sprint. It was so much different than anything I had ever seen and I was fascinated because the athletes have so much control and, of course, the steep banking of the track made the sport look even more challenging. When I got the opportunity to try track cycling with the Calgary Bicycle Track League (CBTL), I couldn’t have been more excited!

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