Sports

As part of Optimist International, the Optimist Club of Calgary is committed to youth sport activities and programming in the City of Calgary and surrounding area.

Optimist International Junior Golf

The Optimist International Junior Golf Championships continues to be one of the most recognizable junior tournaments in the world with more than 6,000 golfers, ages 10-18, participating in qualifying tournaments each year. The Optimist holds three phases to accommodate the increasing number of participants, (phase 1-Boys 10-11, 12-13 and Girls 10-12), (phase 2-Boys 14-15 and Girls 13-14), (Phase 3-Boys 16-18 and Girls 15-18).

Annually around 600 of the best junior golfers, representing more than 30 nations, 45 states and six Canadian provinces, converge for a week of unsurpassed competition and fellowship. What makes us unique from other tournaments, participants and their guests are housed, play golf, enjoy group meals, special events, entertainment and fun all at a world-class resort. College coaches come from all over the country to scout some of the best junior players in the world.

Optimist-sponsored golf tournaments have served as a springboard for many of golf’s greatest players. Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Jason Day, Jeff Overton, Billy Horschel, Tiger Woods, Lexi Thompson, Brittany Lincicome, Michelle McGann and Nancy Lopez are just a few of the elite players who have started their careers at Optimist Junior Golf events.

Southern Alberta Junior Golf

In June of each year, Alberta Optimist Clubs host the Alberta Optimist Pre-Qualifier Junior Golf 18 Hole Tournament for youth aged 10 to 17 at Collicutt Siding near Crossfield, Alberta. Players who qualify from this tournament are invited to play in the Optimist District 36-hole Junior Golf Tournament, which is held in July at a course in southern Alberta.

Junior players who qualify at the District tournament are invited to play the following year at the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship.  In 2022, five players from our 2021 Alberta Optimist Pre-Qualifier Junior Golf Tournament were invited to participate at the International Tournament with their expenses paid for.

Calgary Optimist Club Introduction to Golf

Each year in August, our club hosts a 9-hole Optimist Introduction to Golf event for youth aged 4 to 12 at Collicutt Siding. It is always well attended by youth and their parents with free food and prizes, and plenty of fun.

Collicutt Siding’s Optimist L’il Loop Golf Course

On August 30th, 2021, the Collicutt Siding Golf Club in Crossfield, Alberta held a celebration announcing the opening of the Optimist L’il Loop. Members of the press, the Crossfield Mayor and Town Council Members, Alberta Golf, Airdrie Special Olympics, and Optimist Club Members attended the celebration.

The Optimist L’il Loop is 3 par 3 holes that the Collicutt Siding Golf Club created just for the use of young golfers under 14 years of age. It is separate from the 18-hole golf course, and youngsters will be able to play on a first-come-first-play basis for just a $5/day fee. One day each week, only those with Special Needs will be able to play.

The Optimist Club of Calgary, Dinner Optimist Club of Calgary and Airdrie Optimist Club made major donations towards the cost of creating L’il Loop, so it will be called the Optimist L’il Loop. Each of the 3 holes has a sign recognizing one of the three Optimist Clubs.

The town of Crossfield owns the land and when they heard that Optimist Clubs in Airdrie and Calgary were supporters of the L’il Loop, they agreed to it being built. 

Wes Gilbertson (Journalist) wrote an article about the Optimist L’il Loop in the August 30th 2021 edition of the Calgary Herald.

Under 18 Curling

Each year, our club along with other Optimist clubs in Alberta are the title sponsors of the Curling Alberta Optimist U18 Curling Championship.  Hundreds of young people under the age of 18 years old participate in pre-qualifying events and tournaments across the province between late November and the end of January.

At an Awards Ceremony in July, 2022, Curling Alberta thanked Optimist club members Mike De Nicola, Marilyn Bushell, Clint and Geneva Sopchyshyn and the Optimist Clubs of Alberta and awarded them with a “Partner of the Year” Award.

During an award ceremony, Jill Richard (Executive Director, Curling Alberta) stated “… Curling Alberta is proud to honour the 20th anniversary of our partnership with the Optimist Clubs of Alberta. Their support and vision recognize the importance of sport to our youth, how it motivates them to seek their full potential and to discover connections within their communities.”

Because of the twenty-year partnership with Curling Alberta, Optimist International now recognizes junior curling as an important part of youth development programming.

CADS

The Optimist Club of Calgary is proud to be a supporter of CADS. CADS is Canadian ADaptive Snowsports, previously Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing. CADS now has both skiing and snowboarding students – most students are youth, some are adults.

Many students that have participated in the CADS program have gone on to leading very productive lives, contributing more than their share to society. Before coming to CADS many students have been told “you can’t” and learn “they can”. Many CADS students and their families have said CADS changed their lives.

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Optimist International is recognized worldwide as the premier volunteer organization that values all youth and helps them develop to their full potential.

© 2022 Optimist Club of Calgary