The Disc Golf Pro Tour is proud to announce Community Connect, a new initiative for the 2020 season and beyond based on fulfilling Pro Tour goals relating to youth, education, and community engagement. Community Connect will work with Educational Disc Golf Experience (EDGE), a 501(c)(3), to deliver an EDGE package that includes 4 Innova Traveler baskets, 50 lightweight discs, along with other materials and equipment, (including the Getting the EDGE Curriculum standards-based teaching curriculum for teachers to use) to schools and youth organizations at every DGPT stop this season.
In addition to the EDGE package, the program will provide free activation clinics, several of which will be coordinated and taught by UPlay Disc Golf and it’s ambassadors, made up of touring professional disc golfers. Clinics will typically be held two days before the start of each event, and will deliver vouchers for kids to redeem at ZÜCA FEST that will get them a free mini, provided by ZING Minis! Offering a free gift will help incentivize families to come out to spectate the very pros that taught them to play earlier that week, and ZÜCA FEST is the ideal activation for them to enjoy their experience.
The first activation is slated for tomorrow (Tuesday, February 24) at Whittier Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona in support of The Memorial Championship presented by Discraft, which begins on Thursday. Organized by Zoe Andyke and UPlay Disc Golf, her team of ambassadors will provide clinics to an astounding 450 students over the course of one day! The EDGE package will be a vital piece of the puzzle to help introduce students of Whittier Elementary to the sport effectively and allow disc golf participation long after the event has passed.
“The DGPT has decided to prioritize and fund partnerships that engage and bring value to every community we visit,” said Jeff Spring, Tour Director. “It’s very important to the Pro Tour to try to provide lasting value at each stop. We want to help support and grow the local disc golf clubs we work with, and introducing the sport to kids is a great way to create new disc golfers. In addition to the growth of the sport, this program also provides value to the local youth. I’ve been in outdoor education my entire career and have seen first hand how valuable a connection to nature and the enjoyment of a healthy outdoor activity can be for kids.”
Spring goes on, “I’m thankful that the DGPT is lucky enough to partner with experts like EDGE and UPlay Disc Golf to help execute this program. We are excited to plant the seeds of education, youth, and community development in 2020, and hope to watch this program grow with each coming season.
In regards to those partners, they are some of the best youth and education organizations in the sport. One of them, EDGE, has been around a long time. Educational Disc Golf Experience (EDGE) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the lifetime activity of disc golf to the youth of the world. EDGE combines fundamentals of the sport with educational objectives in the areas of science, math, civics, and the environment. The program provides a well-rounded, standards-based curriculum, instructional DVD and affordable equipment specifically designed for the school-aged participants and the instructors who use it.
Jay Reading, Executive Director of EDGE has been a great partner in helping to get this program off the ground. Reading explains his take on this new partnership saying, “The Educational Disc Golf Experience has introduced disc golf to over two million of our nation’s youth. We like to say that EDGE’s main goal is to give kids a healthy, outdoor activity that in turn assists in growing the game of disc golf. The Disc Golf Pro Tour shares in this vision as their high-level event goals are to grow the sport of disc golf. We are extremely pleased to be able to partner with the Disc Golf Pro Tour within the Community Connect initiative that will bring the tour and our professional players directly to hosting community’s schools and youth programs. Together, we will create young fans of disc golf and provide recreational opportunity long after the tour has moved on to the next stop.”
While EDGE has been a stalwart in the disc golf community for years, UPlay has been making its impact felt more recently. Universal Play Disc Golf is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health, well-being, and enhancing communities through the provision of educational disc golf programs. UPlayDG believes that today’s youth face a variety of unhealthy habits and potentially dangerous activities. By teaching core values of respect, integrity, honesty, confidence, and sportsmanship, UPlayDG uses disc golf as a fun, low impact, easy to learn outdoor sport, that burns calories while improving physical abilities, body awareness, concentration, and goal setting. Their programs insert exercise into daily lives, while instilling positive social and life skills, and increases our student’s ability to teach and enjoy an exciting outdoor activity with family and friends.
UPlayDG’s programs have reached more than 5,100 children ages 4-18 years old, mostly through the efforts of the Executive Director, Zoe Andyke. “We feel strongly about our mission to continue teaching this very affordable, lifelong sport that is playable by all ages, genders, and ability levels. UPlayDG is very excited about this year’s partnership with the Disc Golf Pro Tour. With our shared mission to grow the sport, we believe we will create healthier and happier communities through the Community Connect initiative.”
With these two excellent partners on board to support the program, the Disc Golf Pro Tour is excited for a promising future of community interaction, education, and youth development for the Community Connect program!