Castle archery team buys equipment for teammate in wheelchair

Newburgh high school archery team buys equipment for teammate in wheelchair
Published: Apr. 7, 2023 at 6:46 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A local high school archery team held a raffle to raise money for a piece of equipment which makes it possible for one of their teammates, who uses a wheelchair, to fully participate.

The coaches of the Castle High School archery team say archery is a unique sport. Not only is it co-ed, but it can also be adapted to include all kinds of different athletes. They say that’s exactly what their team did for one of its members.

Castle High School has a storied archery program. The coaches say the program has grown a lot since it started 17 years ago. In that time they’ve won several championships, something which makes a lot of kids eager to join.

“We get a range of kids from everywhere as far as anybody who has any interest whatsoever,” said archery coach Mark Zwilling.

One of those kids is Abby Wells.

“After my brother, I wanted to try it,” said Abby.

Abby has been participating in archery since she was in sixth grade. Her mom says the same condition which keeps her in a wheelchair is also making her weaker. This means during the past year she’s struggled to hold a bow on her own, so a coach had to do it for her.

One of her coaches says she reached out to the US paralympic coach who recommended a bow stand.

“It’s just really nice to have a sport that anybody can participate in, and be as a group and a family together,” said archery coach Christy Probus.

Team coaches say they held a raffle in their March tournament to raise money for the stand, and one team member even donated a target they earned in the national competition. They say Abby got her best-ever score that day.

Abby’s mom says archery means a lot to their family, and it means a lot to see people going the extra mile to make sure Abby can keep being a part.

“That’s one thing that we struggle with at our house is her feeling lonely and not having people because she is different, and it is harder for her to go places and do things with everyone else, and it’s great to know that we have people that will talk to her and communicate, and we don’t have to worry about her being alone,” said Abby’s mom Amy Wells.

The coaches say they’re eager to coach anyone who wants to learn. They say they’ll keep the bow stand once Abby graduates. That way they’re ready if any other athletes need it in the future.

Coaches say Abby has only practiced with the stand a couple times, and they’re still working out the kinks; but they say she’s hitting the target more consistently, and without help.