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Amy Bockerstette is the first athlete with Down syndrome to compete in a collegiate championship
via AmyGolfsandDances / Twitter

Golfer Amy Bockerstette made history three years ago when she became the first person with Down syndrome to earn a full college athletic scholarship.

Now, she's making history again by being the first person with Down syndrome to compete in a national collegiate athletic championship.

Bockerstette and her teammates from Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, Arizona will be playing at the NJCAA national championships May 10-13 at Plantation Bay Golf & Country Club in Ormond Beach, Florida.



Bockerstette's golfing career started in the eight grade when she impressed her school's golf coach so much, he told her parents she should play for the school's team. Boy was he right.

In high school, Bockerstette qualified for the Arizona state high school tournament twice and was named one of the AZCentral.com's "Ten Most Intriguing High School Athletes of 2017."

AzCentral praised her ability to hit from the tee saying that she "launched shots 200 yards down the middle of fairways." It also praised her infectious attitude calling her a "4-foot-9 girl full of sunshine."

Bockerstette is an active Special Olympian who competes in golf, swimming, and volleyball and plays Challenger baseball. She also is very musical, she studies dance in college and plays the piano.

In January 2019, Bockerstette became a viral sensation after her performance on the par-3 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale. During the Tuesday practice round at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, she was invited to play as a Special Olympics representative and was teamed with professional golfer Gary Woodland and playing partner Matt Kuchar.

Bockersette hit her tee shot into a greenside bunker. But recovered nicely with a spectacular chip shot out of the sand, rolling the ball to within eight feet of the cup. Confidently stating "I got this," she then made the put to the roar of the crowd.

Video of her fantastic performance went viral amassing over 43 million views.

Gary Woodland surprises Amy from Special Olympics Arizona 2019www.youtube.com

"I've been blessed to do lot of cool things on the golf course but that is by far the coolest thing I've ever experienced," Woodland told Golf.com. "She was phenomenal. And then to step up in front of all the people and the crowd and everything and to hit the shots that she hit and made par, I never rooted so hard for somebody on a golf course and it was an emotional, emotional, really cool experience."

Bockersette's confident declaration of "I got this" became a rallying cry for people with Down syndrome and their advocates. The comment spawned the I Got This Foundation, an organization created by Bockersette and her family that provides opportunities for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities to play golf.

Bockerstette is a wonderful example of what can happen with people with disabilities are given the chance to participate in sports. Her visibility as a golfer is a great way to encourage others with Down syndrome to get into the sport and is also a wake-up call to the sport's gatekeepers to be more inclusive.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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via Tod Perry

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