Archer Don Newell believes anybody can shoot a bow and arrow, even if they are blind.
Students from the Washington School for the Blind proved it Wednesday at the Chinook Archer’s range in Camas, by popping balloons and winning candy bars, soda pops and gold medals. Newell and other volunteers have been guiding these blind archers for the past six years.
“The kids just thoroughly enjoy it. Any time one of them pops a balloon, the whole place is in an uproar,” Newell said. “Kids are our being of tomorrow. We want to do everything we can to help them.”
Although shooting arrows without the ability to see sounds dangerous, Newell said it is possible with help from a spotter. Professional archers who are blind use foot locators and a tactile aiming device.
The bow and the arrow rest on the aiming device. The foot locators are positioned at the shooting line to help the archer get into a comfortable stance. Working together, the archer and the spotter adjust the aiming device to hit the center of the target.