OLD HICKORY, Tenn. (WTVF) – From all of the activities for kids you can choose, this one in particular seems to really hit the mark.
“Up to your cheek, remember, to your cheek,” said Dakota Rogers, Head Archery Coach for the nonprofit NubAbility.
It could be the fact that participants get one-on-one instruction.
“Boom, look at you; fist bump, fist bump that, alright,” Rogers tells another student.
Or, it could be that the activity is truly interactive.
“I’m getting it perfect,” said participant Kenbe Rogers.
But if you ask a kid like Kenbe, he loves it because he’s treated like any other kid.
“They won’t ask questions because they have the same thing,” said Kenbe.
Every participant at NubAbility’s Archery Clinic in Old Hickory is considered Limb Different, and that includes the coaching staff.
“My gym teacher couldn’t teach me – or didn’t know how to teach me – because I was missing a hand, so I sat on the bleachers and watched while everyone else got to shoot,” Dakota explained.
But Dakota didn’t let that be the final word.
“No no, I’m going to learn how to do archery. So my uncle gave me a little bow and from there I taught myself,” he said.
Clinics like these didn’t exist when he was a kid, which is why he’s so grateful to be coaching several of them now.
“Remember, try and get your fingers to touch; get your thumb up straight,” Dakota tells one of his pupils.
It’s also why, when Sam Kuhnert isn’t manning the grill, he’s the Founder and Executive director of NubAbility. It’s an organization centered around making sure kids with limb differences can try and learn just about any sport or activity.
“I was like, I want to change this. And thankful to the Lord above, he gave me a vision for this camp where kids would learn from coaches who look like them, give them mentors who look like them, to teach these kids how to play sports, “said Kuhnert.
Kuhnert hopes these kids will learn that where there’s a will, there’s an array of ways to succeed.
“The more kids I can get in front of a mentor who looked like them, the more kids that are going to go out and inspire others,” Kuhnert said.
Perhaps the most important lesson, especially at this age, is to always have plenty of faith in yourself.
“If these kids can leave here more confident in themselves, that’s the main thing for me. But if they walk away a much better archer, I’m okay with that too,” said Coach Dakota.
More information about NubAbility is available on their website.