Featured Charity: E.D.G.E.
This year competitors will play for a local charity during each round of the Championship. Following the round, a check will be written to the day’s featured charity on behalf of the Daily Performance Winner during a ceremony.
Today’s featured charity is E.D.G.E, or Educational Disc Golf Experience.
This year Winthrop Gold will be swarming with school-aged children once again during the Championship. Over the week, 700 elementary and middle school kids from South Carolina will visit the EDGE village to practice putting, approach shots, and driving. The EDGE experience is the introduction to disc golf for the majority of these youngsters.
EDGE, founded in 2002 by Innova, works to bring disc golf to students and teach them educational topics based on the game inside and outside the classroom. Now there are more than 650 programs being used in schools across the country.
EDGE Executive Director John Lyksett and program official David Shope have been working hard this year to bring disc golf and the EDGE program into even more schools.
“Disc golf has seen spectacular growth as physical education teachers have seen the value of disc golf as an inexpensive and affordable form of recreation,” said Shope.
One of their main tools for more EDGE exposure is attending regional and national conferences for physical education teachers. Lyskett and Shope traveled to San Diego in the spring for the national conference where thousands of P.E. teachers met.
In their ninth year at that conference, Lyskett said they were able to bring a bunch of teachers out to a local course for a first-hand demonstration on the sport. One of the first things Lyksett explains to all of these newbies is that disc golf is actually a serious sport. And, what makes disc golf so appealing to these educators is that all ages can play it.
“Physical education teachers are looking for lifelong sports instead of basketball and football that can only be played in your younger years,” said Shope.
Plus, many of today’s generation of P.E. teachers have already become familiar with the sport and now they want to share with their students, said Shope.
To help expand into even more schools, EDGE may soon receive a grant form the PDGA to bring disc golf programs to some disadvantaged schools across the country.
EDGE may also see expansion into more countries. Lyksett said he’s already gotten around seven requests from schools in countries like Australia, Taiwan, and China.