New archery club aims to get kids with disabilities involved in sports

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WEST SAND LAKE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A new archery club is aiming to get kids with disabilities out of the house and involved in sports. Non-profit STRIDE has built its range with inclusivity in mind and purchased adaptive equipment to accomodate all archers.

The new equipment allows seated archers to participate, while beepers and stands allow visually impaired participants to take part.

The archery range has distance markers for four stations with permanent line marks from 10 meter, 20 meter, and 30 meter distances, or movable markers for less or more-skilled archers. 

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, safety measures stretch beyond just keeping the range clear. STRIDE’s CEO says, implementing social distancing measures isn’t an issue.

“It will be easy for everyone to socially distance at the competitive archery range we built on STRIDE’s 85 acre camping retreat in Chatham. USA Archery (USAA) helped us form a Junior Olympic Archer Development (JOAD) club for our kids with disabilities. We are ready to get our youth athletes with disabilities back to play, and archery is one of the many ways STRIDE can safely make this happen.”

Mary Ellen Whitney
STRIDE Founder & CEO

Five new instructors will also be trained and certified to ensure as many kids as possible can take part. The instructors’ training has been funded by a grant from USA Archery.

The training, and the course itself is being headed by Wounded Warrior Tim McDonough, whose personal achievements include two gold medals in the Air Force Trials and assistant coach of the Air Force Wounded Warrior team that took 13 medals over three years.

 “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have a director with Tim’s credentials and abilities. Tim had his start in archery with STRIDE, and he has been one of our many success stories; we are hoping the new archery club will be the perfect chance for Tim to pass on some of his magic and shape the next generation of adaptive success stories.”

Mary Ellen Whitney
STRIDE Founder & CEO

The program will run on Saturdays, between September 19 and October 24, from STRIDE’s 85-acre camping retreat in Chatham. The possibility of using indoor ranges over winter is currently being explored. More information on the program, and the 17 other programs STRIDE currently manages, can be found on their website.

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