First of its Kind Archery Class for Visually Impaired Clovis Kids
By Nick King
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) — In nearly 30 years of existence, "Break the Barriers" in Fresno has been home to many unlikely athletic feats. But the latest is truly the first of its kind. A group of kids from Clovis who can't even see the target are learning archery.The kids from Clovis are archery novices, but led by our incredible friend, Heaven Vallejos, who we last saw running cross country.They're already hitting a moving target and blowing away some of the most elite archers in the world.3rd grader Gabriella Beery said, "I thought it was going to be scary."Arrows being shot by the blind and nearly blind does sound scary, but these kids were amazing.Archery world champion, Frank Pearson said, "It was totally amazing to watch her put the arrow on the string, and if it wasn't on the string right, she could feel it and she'd turn it around and put it on right. And the accuracy and the form she was just unbelievable. It was a thrill to watch her shoot."Archery Paralympic gold medalist, Jeff Fabry said, "Picking the arrow out of the tube, indexing the arrow right to put it on the string, I mean she knew how to do every step of the shot routine. And that was just, 'wow.' That was cool."4th grader Heaven Vallejos said, "We do bullseye battles now. And today I'm like, 'remember Angel, bullseye queen coming at ya.'"2nd grader Angel Mendoza said, "I'm pulling it, and then there's a rocket. But then when I let it go, the rocket's flying straight at the moon. It feels like that."Reach for the moon is the attitude of the entire group inside Break the Barriers. Especially after seeing a Paralympic gold medal won by Lemoore's Jeff Fabry, who's missing an arm and leg and shoots with his mouth. "I mean, that's what it's about, too - you know, motivation. She's met me and said, 'well, if he can do it, how come I can't do that?' That shows us she's determined, and she's gonna make something with her life," said Fabry.Archery is another sport you can't tell the visually impaired they can't participate in, because these kids in Clovis will prove you wrong.
KMPH Fox 26 is the Central Valley's news leader, covering Fresno, California and the surrounding area, including Clovis, Madera, Hanford, Visalia, Biola, Kerman, Tranquillity, San Joaquin, Reedley, Coalinga, Avenal, Lemoore, Tulare, Selma, Caruthers, Tollhouse, Three Rivers, Porterville, and Merced.