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PDGA Youth and Education

PDGA Youth and Education

Nearly 100 physical education teachers were exposed to the virtues of the lifetime sport of disc golf this summer through a grant program seeded by the PDGA and the Educational Disc Golf Experience.

PDGA Youth and Education manager and Disc Golf Hall of Famer Des Reading and Jay Reading, of E.D.G.E, led two professional development training sessions for the Humble Independent School District near Houston, Texas to train physical educators on the fundamentals of disc golf as well as how to properly and safely teach the sport. The workshop fulfilled the educator’s professional requirements with eight hours of training.

Smiles abound after a fun day of disc golf. Photo: Troy Herman

Disc golf just has that allure. It has that pull and intrigue that captivates the imagination and, eventually, the heart and soul. Whether it’s accessibility to the sport, community, or the joy of flight, disc golf has that draw that brings people in.

Troop leader Kerstin Joos saw players at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock, TX and immediately recognized that disc golf would be a fun activity to try out for the girls in her troop.

Accessibility draws in new players.

Earhart Environmental Magnet School was the recipient of a PDGA COVID-19 Physical Education Relief Grant. Photo: Trey Thompson

For the Earhart Environmental Magnet School in Wichita, Kansas, whose school motto is, “No Child Left Indoors,” Earth Day is a big deal.

That’s why when disc golf was chosen as a featured activity for this year’s Earth Day celebration, Trey Thompson, a first-year teacher at Earhart, reached out to Des and Jay Reading to invite them to participate.

Since its inception in 2019, PDGA Youth and Education has made expanding youth access to disc golf a top priority. Photo: PDGA Media

On behalf of PDGA Youth and Education and the Physical Education COVID-19 Grant Partners: Gateway Disc Sports, Innova, Discraft, Disc Golf Pro Tour and EDGE, we are thrilled to award equipment grants to 35 schools across the United States and Canada.

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Daniel Wood #123679 is a PDGA member, 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year for Kings Chapel Elementary School in Perry, Ga. Photo: EDGE.

The PDGA and its partners are pleased to announce the opportunity for educators to apply for a PDGA Physical Education COVID-19 Relief Package. Grant applications are accepted until Friday, Febuary 26, 2021. Awardees will be announced Thursday, March 11, 2021.

(This article first appeared in the Summer 2020 Issue of DiscGolfer Magazine.)

2020 has given us a chance to reflect on what being a disc golfer means. Why is the game, the sport, so important to us? We have respected our closed courses, mourned canceled tournaments, tours and majors. And now a surge of Juniors must wait for 2021 as hopes of world titles remain postponed or canceled. In honor of Junior Worlds, I asked some past PDGA Junior world champions their secrets to success, longevity in the sport and thoughts on youth play.

Disc golf is the perfect solution for anyone that wants to teach, share and enjoy a lifetime sport.

It's a healthy, inexpensive, recreational activity that provides upper and lower body conditioning, aerobic exercise and mental stimulation. Concentration skills expand by mastering shots and negotiating obstacles. Players of limited fitness levels can start slowly and gradually increase their level of play.

We’d like to help you get started and your family get out to the course with an introduction to disc golf: what is it, why should you teach or play disc golf, what you will need to start, how to play, and where to find a course near you!

Competition, for some, is a big part of disc golf and through a number of junior-specific events held across the country, the future of the sport get to showcase their skills and compete with their peers.

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Check out the Top 10 Junior Events in 2019:

1. 2019 PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships presented by Dynamic Discs

Generating power from the lower body is one of the most crucial elements in an effective putting technique. Photo: PDGA Media

Like many parents, I have recently found myself with more time than ever to bring my kids to the disc golf course. It has proven to be one of the most dependable, inexpensive respites from the maddening regimen of 24/7 home life in the crazy year that has been 2020.

2019 Next Generation Disc Golf Tour Women's Champion Aria Castruita. Photo: Matthew Brooks

“Welcome to the big leagues” could have been the slogan for the 2019 Next Generation Disc Golf National Championships in Austin, Texas, last weekend, as the event lived up to the Lone Star State ideal that everything is bigger there: From the courses and sponsors to player amenities and purse, the Next Generation Tour Championships did it right.

At the end of 99 holes of play, 35 of the 88 finalists decided between a piece of the $32,000 cash purse or retaining their amateur status. Ultimately, 21 players took the money and entered the world of professional disc golf.

Des Reading (right) teaches at a boys academy in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, in 2011. The Disc Golf Hall of Fame member will start in April as the PDGA's youth and education coordinator. Photo: Harvey Yarnell

2018 Eagles Wings Junior Grant winners Wyatt Mahoney, Jason Casper, Lucy Burks, Evelyn Heath, and Jordan Smith. Photo: Scott Leader

An emotional Cynthia Ricciotti after tapping in for her win in the FJ18 division.

After three days of mind-bending heat, mother nature finally gave the competitors of the 2018 PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships a much-needed break from the extreme conditions. With Emporia, Kansas finally feeling more like the Midwest and less like the Middle East, there were no excuses for those wanting to make the cut for the Final 9 showdowns at Emporia Country Club.

Michael Infusino #31277 has been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for the last 8 years, the last 4 of which have been in a suburb of San Francisco called San Bruno. Michael had only been playing disc golf for about a year or so when the San Francisco Disc Golf Club got approval from the city to install the Golden Gate Park Disc Golf Course. He volunteered some of his time to help with the manual labor involved in installing the course, but shortly after he would move on to San Bruno, a town with no disc golf courses at all.

by Justin Menickelli, Ph.D.

EDGE Impacts National Physical Education Conference

Disc Golf in Support of Scouting:  Boy Scout Training Module - By Steve West, PDGA Youth Committee Chairman

The Boy Scouts now have a training module called "Disc Golf in Support of Scouting". If you want to teach disc golf to Scouting volunteers, this module will show you how to do it the Boy Scout way.

Don't wait until spring.  Scouts plan things months in advance.  If you volunteer now, you might be scheduled to actually do the training in three to nine months.  That will give you plenty of time to rehearse.

So, why do the Boy Scouts have training for disc golf?  Here's how it came about.