Amy Bockerstette becomes first person with Down syndrome to compete in national college championship

Amy Bockerstette becomes first person with Down syndrome to compete in national college championship

On Monday, Amy Bockerstette made history by becoming the first person with Down syndrome to compete in a national collegiate athletic championship event. Playing with four other Paradise Valley Community College teammates, the 22-year-old Bockerstette teed off at 11:50 AM. According to Golf Week, this is Bockerstette’s second full season with the team.

Bockerstette is competing at the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship at Plantation Bay Golf & Country Club in Ormond Beach, Florida. She told People that while her father gets nervous before her events, she doesn’t: “I don’t get nervous, just very excited! I am very happy to be here.” Amy’s young career has been made up of firsts, having already been the first Arizona student with Down syndrome to play in high school playoffs and the first to receive a college athletics scholarship.

Here’s a little moment of history.

HISTORY MADE! Puma Golf was part of history today as @AmyGolfsNDances is the 1st collegiate athlete w/Down syndrome to compete in a national championship w/ @NJCAA Best of luck to Coach Matt Keel, and Amber Daczka, Paige Dormal, Emily Ingels, Sara Kearns, Jinkung Kim! #GoPumas

— Puma Athletics (@PVCCPumas) May 10, 2021

In 2019, after a video of Amy playing a famously difficult hole at TPC Scottsdale with Gary Woodland (video of which you can see below) went viral, Bockerstette and her family began the I Got This Foundation, which provides golf instruction and opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Amy Bockerstette throwing out a first pitch at a baseball game.

Amy has been called on to give inspirational speeches and appearances because of the successes she has achieved over the years. At the 2019 National Down Syndrome Congress, held in Pennsylvania, she explained that she uses “positive self-talk,” with phrases like, “You got this,” and, “You can do this,” to keep her pumped up and focused when she is playing golf. 

Enjoy Bockerstette nailing a practice round in 2019 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, along with defending PGA Tour champion Gary Woodland. You may want some tissues as all of that cut grass can give you allergies. Gosh, there’s so much cut grass.

She’s got this.

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