Peewee horseshoe pitchers pose during a practice night at Glanford Park. The Greater Victoria Horseshoe Pitching Association runs a free school program to help get kids interested in its junior program. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

The clanging of horse shoes rings out over Glanfield Park Tuesday nights as members of all ages take their pitching skills to the sand pit.

The park hosts the Greater Victoria Horseshoe Pitching Association (GVHPA), a club that’s been throwin’ shoes in the region since 1935.

Horseshoe pitching has players throw an iron horseshoe at a peg, with points awarded based on where it lands. It’s simple fun that almost anyone can play, but the ancient game – which has roots in the game of ‘quoits,’ a modification of discus throwing from Grecian times – doesn’t have an easy time attracting youth.

That’s why the GVHPA is working with local schools to get kids interested.

“We send letters to all the schools and give all the classrooms free lessons,” said junior program coordinator Bruce Bodnaruk. “We’re putting almost a thousand kids though every season.”

That free school program has already gotten some kids interested in the GVHPA’s youth club, which meets for weekly practices and travels to tournaments around B.C.

“It’s starting to pay off but it’s a long process,” Bodnaruk said. “There’s a lot of sports in Victoria.”

The peewee and junior teams have gone to tournaments in Port Alberni, Powell River, Ladysmith and beyond, as far north as Prince George. And the GVHPA has hosted a number of B.C. tournaments itself, as well as the Canadian Championships.

Emily, 9, throws a horseshoe at the weekly peewee practice. She has been pitching horseshoes in the Greater Victoria Horseshoe Pitching Association for over three years. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Some Greater Victoria pitchers are even headed to the horseshoe pitching World Tournament in Wichita Falls, Texas this summer, including junior Canadian champion Dalton Moffat.

“I like meeting people, and trying to win,” he said, when asked what got him into the sport. “It takes a long time to get good. You just have to focus on what you’re trying to do.”

Horseshoe pitching requires little equipment, and costs almost nothing, Bodnaruk said. In fact, the entry cost for youth who want to join the peewee or youth programs is only $10 a season.

“A lot of these kids don’t like the competitive team sports,” Bodnaruk said. “They just want to find something to do themselves and it’s an individual thing. That’s what they really like.”

It might be an individual sport, but the group of peewee pitchers enjoy socializing and playing around too.

“Come out and have fun, that’s what horse shoes is. After hundreds of years playing horseshoes in the backyard or on the farm – it’s still the same thing.”

Lisa, 11, pitches a horseshoe during a Greater Victoria Horseshoe Pitching Association practice night at Glanford Park. The club is hoping to get more youth involved with a free school program. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Suspect steals jewelry and ice cream bars in Oak Bay break and enter

Oak Bay resident loses $2,000 in gift cards to Visa Scam

Change room thief nabbed by West Shore RCMP Bike Unit

Quick-thinking caller leads police to suspect after witnessing theft

PHOTOS: Car Free YYJ entertains the masses in Victoria

Third annual fair where cars are banned goes off without a hitch

Oak Bay Sausagefest 2019 to buoy Sea Rescue program

Firefighters’ June 22 charity event will support marine responders

Esquimalt artist captures culinary personalities with body art

Mary Ploegsma’s unique chef/tattoo portrait series on display this month in Chinatown café

WATCH: Barbers battle it out in Victoria

‘Barber Battle’ saw stylists and barbers from across North America go head-to-head

Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Skipping school costs a dozen B.C. students chance at a new car

Cowichan’s Jared Lammi showed up and won $5,000 cheque toward vehicle, but he can’t drive

Man suffers burns, dog dies in fire in Nanaimo

Structure burns down on Clifford Road property in Cedar

Province comes through with funding for Charleigh Fales

Lake Cowichan toddler only one in B.C. diagnosed with CLN2 Batten disease

People throwing food at a bear in Fernie alarms conservation groups

“Approaching and feeding bears contributes to habituation,” says conservation group

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

Most Read