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World Championship Dog Disc Competition Comes to Nike Sept. 2-3

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In one of the most amazing and fun events of Labor Day Weekend, dogs will run faster than a flying Frisbee® and will leap high into the air for the joy of catching it. The Ashley Whippet K-9 Frisbee® World Championships are coming to Nike Sports Complex, 1520 N. Mill St., on Sept. 2 and 3, 2017.

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The event is free for spectators, with plenty of parking, seating, and easy access from North Mill St., just 2 miles from downtown Naperville.  The competition will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. The Ashley Whippet Last Chance Qualifier will be held on Saturday and the Ashley Whippet K-9 Frisbee World Championship will take place on Sunday. This event is made possible by the sponsors who are listed on the poster below.

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Tom Wehrli, disc dog enthusiast and organizer of the Ashley Whippet event, said that Naperville Park District has hosted K-9 Frisbee competitions for over 15 years. “The World Championships rotate locations and return to Naperville every few years.  We will welcome teams from China, Japan and Canada this year. Although Nike Sports Complex is a new location for us this year, we hope that people will visit both Last Fling and make the short drive to see these amazing dogs compete.”

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Naperville as a Home Base for Canine Frisbee®
Tom Wehrli and his wife, Chris have been involved with dog disc competitions for decades and have created a local museum in their home and online capturing the unique history of K-9 Frisbee competitions. The Ashley Whippet Museum is packed with Frisbees®, lined with posters from international events, and full of memorabilia of famous disc dogs, starting with Ashley Whippet himself.  In short, Ashley Whippet was a canine Frisbee® superstar who inspired the launch of the sport by his extraordinary performance with his owner, Alex Stein, during an L.A. Dodgers game in 1974. Read the full story here.


“Alex Stein will be here in Naperville at the championships to sign autographs and cheer on these world class competitors,” said Wehrli.
 

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Tom Wehrli at the Ashley Whippet Museum in Naperville

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Commemorative discs line the walls and ceiling

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 The Lander Cup (the “Stanley Cup” of K-9 Frisbee® World Championships)


The Wehrlis have trained and raised 14 dogs over the years, all of whom were rescued. “And in the disc dog sport, 75% of the dogs who compete have been rescued. Stories abound. We have traveled the world because of a piece of plastic and a dog.”


Naperville Park District’s Frisbee® Golf Course

Naperville also is a destination for the human sport of disc golf, with an 18-hole disc golf course at Knoch Knolls Park. Tom Wehrli and Disc Golf Hall of Fame member Gary Lewis collaborated with the Naperville Park District to design the course, which was expanded from 9 to 18 holes in 2015. The course is free and open year round, with parking, restrooms and a drinking fountain available at the nearby Knoch Knolls Nature Center.

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Tom Wehrli and Gary Lewis were among the crowd at the dedication of the 18-hole disc golf course in 2015


“Our disc golf course is one of the most used courses in Illinois,” said Tom Wehrli.  “It’s a thrill to have it here.  Our international visitors for the Ashley Whippet championships want to play there if there is time.”

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Attendees at the dedication practice throwing to the target


Ultimate Frisbee®
In recent years, the sport of Ultimate Frisbee® has surged in popularity. The Park District offers Ultimate Frisbee® camps and programs year round. The next available camp will take place during winter break 2017-2018 and registration is already underway.

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Participants gather at an Ultimate summer camp at Frontier Sports Complex


Whether trying the sports of disc golf, Ultimate, or K-9 Frisbee®, the Park District offers opportunities for you to enjoy the challenge and fun of a Frisbee®.

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