Kailash Sanjivi of Nelson, who just celebrated his 14th birthday on May 3 after placing first in the advanced division at Cranbrook’s recent disc golf tournament, is currently fundraising to go down to Emporia, Kansas to compete in the Junior Worlds championship on July 9.
Kailash has been playing disc golf his entire life. His father, Ganesh Baba G Sanjivi used to push him around in a jogger around the old disc golf course out in Ymir.
“I’ve got a picture of him when he’s one year old with a disc in his hand,” said Sanjivi. “He eventually started getting out of the buggy and wanting to toss. There was a point where he was just slowing everybody down but I just played him with the right people who didn’t care and now he’s out-throwing all of us.”
It wasn’t long before Kailash was competing, and winning in Men’s intermediate and advanced divisions.
“I actually play in advance masters and so this [Cranbrook] tournament I decided to go in advanced. I thought it would be nice to play on the same card with him and yeah he beat me, I got third,” Sanjivi said with a laugh. “So it was a little humbling but at the same time it’s always good to see your children surpass you.”
Kailash has been wanting to go to Junior Worlds for a long time, but his dad said it wasn’t even a reality until last year when he won an A Class, B-tier event down in Idaho, the biggest tournament in the northwest that attracts over 250 players, including pros from around the U.S. Kailash entered in the intermediate division and won, beating out over 65 players.
Since then he knew Junior Worlds was a possibility and has been training hard ever since, but unfortunately, Sanjivi recently lost his job and at this point, doesn’t have the funds required to go down to Kansas for the five-day tournament, and allow some days before the event to allow Kailash to practise on the course he’s never played before.
“We were going to drive down to try and save costs as much as possible, but it’s a 26 hour drive so just the gas alone is going to be about $2000,” Sanjivi said. “And then I’m going to try and keep the costs as low as possible, but just food and then our travel expenses while we’re at the course.”
Kailash has also hoped to spend one night at the hotel, which functions as the hub for all the competitors, giving the young disc golfing prodigy the chance to rub shoulders with all the pros who will be staying there.
Kailash is not only a talented young player, but he is dedicated to the sport through and through. He was chosen by Eagle Wings Disc Golf, along with just six other kids in North America, with major potential who have made a difference in their local community for disc golf. This was the first time a Canadian youth has been recognized.
He also sits on the board of the Nelson Disc Golf Society and has been instrumental in their endeavour to get a course constructed there — Kailash and his dad usually travel to places like Spokane, WA., Rossland or Cranbrook in order to play.
“Kailash has been really integral in helping to get the course in,” Sanjivi said. “Him along with the president, they’ve been spearheading together and he’s been the voice of the youth in this ongoing process to get a course built in Nelson.”
Sanjivi and his son have set a target of $3,500 and donations can be made here.