Fort Hood youth are letting it fly in archery class at Duncan Elementary.
Brenda Brown, instructional program specialist with Child and Youth Services, believes that archery is a sport that doesn’t require you to be the stereotypical athlete.
“Archery is a different kind of skill. There’s something for everyone ... some people are very active in sports and they run and play basketball and football, but archery is a different kind of sport,” Brown said. “This is one of those things that everyone can do. Even if you’re not the athletic kid, even if you’re not into sports and want to watch football and basketball all day long, this is something everybody can do.”
The class is instructed by certified archery instructors Kevin Brown and his wife Stephanie. Kevin enjoys seeing the kids light up once they are accustomed to the sport.
“When they start hitting the target for the first time, they just light up,” Kevin said. “It is just wonderful to see the expression on their face when they hit that for the first time.”
Stephanie, a veteran with several handicaps, continues to shoot and hopes that she can be an example to others with disabilities who might be hesitant to try the sport.
“Archery allows me to continue being active. I was never hesitant about it or other adaptive sports because it allowed me to do everything I enjoyed doing while helping others experience something new,” Stephanie said.
Kevin believes that archery can help kids learn and improve many skills.
“They can learn a lot of things. They learn math skills, because we do add up scores. They learn teamwork, even though they are doing it individually,” Kevin said. “They learn the importance of safety, especially in this sport. They learn the importance of safety, but mostly they learn how to support each other and I think that the most important thing.”
Madison Cangelosi, 14, picked up archery in Kentucky and has she loves to improve on her hobby.
“Definitely seeing how much you’ve grown since the beginning … Seeing how far you’ve come.”
When asked who her favorite fictional archer was, she didn’t hesitate to answer.
“Hawkeye! Marvel all the way,” Cangelosi exclaimed.
Brown hopes that the students will develop a passion for archery and keep that passion for years to come.
“I’m hoping they want to do this for life. So, I’m hoping they gain a love of archery for the rest of their life,” Kevin said.
He and his wife enjoy teaching archery to military youth because it is a skill they can carry with them no matter where life takes them.
“This is something they can take with them even though they leave here. It’s something they can always have,” Kevin said.
Children must be eight years or older to participate in the archery class. The cost is $50 per month which includes four one-hour sessions. To register, stop by Parent Central or sign up on https://go.usa.gov/xn4rd. For more information please call 254-287-4592.