Amy Bockerstette has just become the first person with Down syndrome that will compete at a national collegiate athletic championship! She worked long and hard for this honor, and has proven her talent time and time again.
Amy signed a letter of intent to play for the Paradise Valley Community College Pumas three years ago. She made history at the time when she earned a full college athletic scholarship, the first to be awarded to a person with Down syndrome.
A short year later, Amy was invited to play with a couple of professional golfers, including Gary Woodland, at the Waste Management Phoenix Open course. Here, she made a lasting impression as she was recorded telling herself “I got this” before each swing.
Her first drive hit in a bunker next to the green, but she showed no signs of discouragement as she gained 117 yards. She easily knocked her second shot out of the sand, landing it just a few feet away from the hole. In between each shot, as she walked alongside Woodland, Amy waved at the crowd and laughed to herself excitedly. Her last putt landed in the hole and the stadium roared in support.
The video of Amy’s incredible play went viral, and soon her iconic phrase “I got this” transformed into the I Got This Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to “promote golf instruction and playing opportunities for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.” Their site explains how golf can be played and enjoyed by anyone, and has the added benefit of promoting healthy exercise and social opportunities.
“We want to create these same experiences for people with intellectual disabilities and the new friends they can make,” the site continues to explain. “Our vision is that the game of golf reflects the diversity of society in its inclusion of athletes with intellectual disabilities.”
Now, Amy will join her teammates from the Arizona-based college in competing for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) women’s golf title. The group will travel across the nation to Ormond Beach, Florida where the tournament will be held.
Good luck, Amy — you got this!Whizzco