Deonna Shake receives award at US Disc Golf Championship

Posted October 21, 2010

When Deonna Shake thinks of disc golf, she thinks of inspiration. She thinks of ACU students gaining a love for the sport on the new Wildcat Disc Golf Course. She thinks of school-age kids gaining the benefits of exercise as they learn to play. And she thinks of her son, Bryson, who conquered obesity thanks to disc golf, his favorite form of exercise.

Seeing her son's enthusiasm inspired Shake to press for the development of ACU's disc golf course, which opened in April of last year. She served as project director, raising more than $18,000 for the creation of the course. Her passion is what made Jay Reading, designer of the Wildcat Disc Golf Course and four-time World Champion in the sport, nominate her for an award from the United States Disc Golf Championship.

The Educational Disc Golf Experience/Professional Disc Golf Association Excellence in Education award is presented to an educator who encourages more participants in the sport. Shake, an instructor of Exercise Science and Health at ACU, accepted this national award at the United States Disc Golf Championship in Rock Hill, S.C., on Oct. 9, with her son by her side.

"I found out about the award in July when I received a surprise call from Jay Reading telling me I had won. What a total shock. It was exciting and humbling," says Shake. "I may have been handed the EDGE award trophy, but I accept it on behalf of the Readings who introduced me to the sport, to ACU because the university installed the course, and to my family that has embraced disc golf right alongside me."

That weekend, Shake also worked as a volunteer at the USDGC tournament and in the EDGE Village, where they brought in several hundred school kids to learn about disc golf. Her son, Bryson, was asked to share his story of losing almost 150 pounds playing disc golf. Shake and her son were excited about bringing this experience to kids.

"I am grateful to the EDGE program for equipping educators to spread the game of disc golf and for all it is doing to get the sport out there to school children across the United States," says Shake. "I have seen firsthand how disc golf is a 'pay it forward' sport. The Shake family has been blessed through disc golf, and I plan to use my passion to spread the joy of this great sport to many more people!"


Photo by Lauren E. Lakeberg,