In the competitive world of sports, it can be easy to give up or become intimidated by the competition. Amy Bockerstette, 22, is here to change the narrative for aspiring athletes with disabilities. A Special Olympics golfer, Bockerstette is the first person with Down syndrome to participate in a national collegiate athletic championship.
During a practice round, "Amazing Amy," as she's called, knocked her tee shot in a bunker. Unrattled, she turned to Woodland who offered to help her hit it out of the sand and said, "I got this." Woodland gave Bockerstette the accolades she certainly deserved, and the crowd went wild. Gary and Amy have remained friends ever since.
"Amy's attitude is phenomenal. She's meant everything to me from a mental standpoint. The world needs more of her in it," said Woodland.
Bockerstette attended and graduated from Sandra Day O'Connor High School in Phoenix, Arizona. She played on the high school girls golf team for four years and earned her varsity letter for golf in her sophomore, junior, and senior years.
Bockerstette currently attends Paradise Valley Community College on a full golf scholarship. She is a Special Olympics athlete in golf, swimming, volleyball, and Challenger baseball. Bockerstette also plays piano and is studying dance.
Bockerstette made history two years ago when she became the first golfer with Down syndrome to be granted an athletic scholarship. Her "I got this" attitude is contagious.
Bockerstette and her family launched a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, the I GOT THIS Foundation, at her 21st birthday party in October, 2019. The foundation's mission is to promote golf instruction and playing opportunities for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.
“I have fun,” says Bockerstette about her favorite sport. Her father, Joe, says it isn’t just about the tournaments; it’s about making friends and not putting limits on yourself.
"The lesson is you just can't put limits on people... It was ridiculous for me to think that Amy couldn't achieve what she's achieved," says her father.
Bockerstette's life is full with studies, sports, charity golf tournaments, fundraising events, and her work with the I GOT THIS foundation. Bockerstette's positive outlook on life has helped her achieve amazing things, and what's more, that "never give up" attitude and spirit has touched so many others, too.