ParaLong Drive gears up
The ParaLong Drive Local Organizing Committee (LOC) is gearing up for the ParaLong Drive Worlds 2015 competition this fall, said Dean Jarvis, co-founder of the event.
Mesquite is hosting 65 of the top disabled ParaLong drivers from various countries including Australia, Canada, England, Israel, Scotland, Slovakia, South Africa, Wales and other countries, but more athletes could possibly compete, Jarvis said.
Jarvis and Bryan Dangerfield, local director of the LOC, are recruiting disabled golfers everyday, Jarvis said. But they also have been gaining help from Josh Williams and 3-year-old, one-armed golfing prodigy and YouTube sensation, Tommy Morrissey.
Williams, a professional long driver, and Morrissey have attended golf opens around the world and helped spread the word about what the ParaLong Drive Worlds is and what it means to them, Jarvis said.
“They’re great ambassadors for the ParaLong Drive,” Jarvis said. “Williams recently competed at the NedBank South African Disabled Golf Open and people there were talking about the ParaLong Drive.”
Morrissey made a special appearance at the Mesquite Sports and Event Complex at last year’s event where he hit golf balls about 100 yards into the distance alongside his father, Joe.
“He’s an icon,” Dangerfield said. “We’ve been in contact with his parents and as long as they’re available during the long drive then we’re going to definitely try and get them to come back.”
The competition will also feature a brand new category, TBI, for individuals that have suffered from post-traumatic disorders, Dangerfield said.
The ParaLong Drive is produced by the LOC in cooperation with the City of Mesquite Department of Athletics and Leisure Services and the Amputee Long Drive Championship LLC of Maryville, Tennessee. The LOC is comprised of an executive committee and 50 volunteers, some of who have 20 years of Long Drive event experience.
Currently, the LOC and LLC is also accepting sponsors for the event, Jarvis said. As a ParaLong Drive partner, you can help with the costs of producing the 2015 Worlds event and your company can benefit by the media exposure from partnering with the growing event.
“To get involved, you choose a funding level and sports marketing inventory you feel comfortable with,” Dangerfield said. “And we’ll ensure you get the benefits package included with your ParaLong Drive package.”
Not only did the Golf Channel cover the 2014 Worlds event, but there were feature stories of the athletes were shown in their hometown cities like Miami, Florida, Phoenix, Arizona, Las Vegas, Canada and Australia.
In 2014, there were more than 200 stories in major news outlets on TV, radio, newspaper and websites, Jarvis said.
The ParaLong Drive Worlds 2015 event is scheduled from Nov. 8-10.
“This was the first event of its kind in the world,” Jarvis said. “The ParaLong Drive movement is about the Golf and ParaLong Drive becoming Paralympic Sports.”
For more information visit www.paralongdrive.org.