For some, it’s a lifelong dream to become a sponsored athlete. It’s a goal Peterborough’s Nikko Forbes has already achieved, and he is only seven years old.
The young disc golfer is sponsored by Innova — one of the largest disc golf companies in the world. Nikko is the youngest person ever to be sponsored by the company and is one of only ten kids worldwide to have earned the honour.
“I’ve been playing since I was two years old,” Nikko said. “I really like that it’s a sport that you can get out with your friends and family. It’s for everyone, young, old — even the Prime Minister played it.”
But even Justin Trudeau might have a tough time against Nikko, the young athlete practices just about every day and has some big plans for the future.
“I see myself becoming a pro because I am good for my age and if I keep practicing, I think I can do it.”
It seems disc golf runs in the family. Nikko’s Dad, Karl Forbes, is one of the founders of the Peterborough Disc Golf Club in Peterborough, Ont.
He said he has noticed a big boom in interest in the sport in the last five years and especially during the pandemic.
“In 2019 there was a 70 per cent increase in disc golf and in 2020 it was looking like there was a 40 per cent increase in disc golf, so it is looking like the pandemic really has caused a boom,” said Forbes.
“At one point I knew every disc golfer in Peterborough and we are seeing new people on the course every day.”
Now that COVID-19 restrictions are starting to ease Nikko and his father are hitting the road, heading out on a 55 day camping and disc golf trip.
They are making their way to Thunder Bay for the Northern Championships and then east of Ottawa for the provincial championships.
Nikko said whether you’re playing competitively or just for fun you have to remember one thing: “It doesn’t matter if you’re the best or the worst, it just matters if you want to try,” he said.
To see more from Nikko, follow him on Instagram at nikkojesse64397.