Why is E.D.G.E.
Many recent studies have pointed to the increase in juvenile obesity and the decrease in youth fitness. Among the most recommended solutions for these problems are walking and moderate exercise, combined with activity that can be learned at a young age and continued throughout the individual's lifetime. What better way to address all these areas than to introduce young people to disc golf?
There is currently no school based curriculum or other effective training program to teach the basic skills of disc golf. By combining fundamentals of the sport with educational objectives in the areas of science, civics, and the environment, the Educational Disc Golf Experience or E.D.G.E. program hopes to provide a way to introduce more young players to the sport, and indirectly, bring the adults in their lives to the game, as well.
Another issue that E.D.G.E. addresses is the health of young people in our society. Juvenile obesity is rising rapidly. In the United States, where at least 1 out of 10 youngsters between the ages of 6 and 17 years of age is overweight, the incidence of obesity among children has more than doubled over the last 30 years. The challenge is to redesign communities, replacing parking lots with parks, playgrounds, and playing fields. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1999 said that simply walking several times a week is just as effective as vigorous exercise in reducing a woman's risk of heart disease.
The concept of E.D.G.E. begins at the elementary school level (2nd-3rd and 4th-5th grade) with clinics teaching basic throwing skills, putting, distance, and short course (3 targets) play and initial discussion of rules, including courtesy and stance/throwing rules. The next phase involves junior high/middle school students (7-8th grades) and would take place on a 9 hole temporary course set up at the school. Topics of educational import would revolve around the science of disc flight, the mathematics of scoring, handicapping, and standings, environmental concerns, and civic responsibility as a player. The final phase ideally entails a competitive club disc golf league between area high schools. In addition to trophies and local recognition, participants would be able to vie for scholarships on a local, regional, and national level.
Recent educational statistics reveal that there are over 63,000 elementary schools in the United States with an average enrollment of 478 students. Reaching just one percent of these students would introduce over 300,000 children to the sport of disc golf. The same survey shows over 22,000 secondary schools with an average of 707 students. If just one half of one percent became involved in a competitive disc golf program, there would be over 75,000 players competing at this level.