Local News

Summer Camp For Visually Impaired Helps Kids Master Sports

Posted June 20, 2001

— Studies show sports are learned 90 percent through sight.

This week, North Carolina Central University is sponsoring a sports camp based on all the other senses, and as a result, 18 young athletes ranging in sight from 20/200 vision to total blindness are getting off the sidelines and taking part, throwing and jumping on a level playing field at Broughton High School in Raleigh.

"That's better because nobody has an advantage with their sight or anything," says one camper.

"It's offered me new sports that I never played before," says another.

Jen Armbruster is a blind paralympics athlete who oversees the national grant program for sports camps like this.

"This camp is designed to get kids off the sidelines and get them actively participating in all their P.E. classes and get them on their sports teams," says Armbruster.

"There's a lot to be said about relating to the environment and learning how to move using your other senses," says camp coordinator Laura Bozeman.

Many of these kids have never been away from home. Through training, teamwork and friendship camp leaders hope to instill confidence and self-esteem these athletes have never seen before.

"We had a lot of people saying 'I can't do sports, I'm visually impaired," says Armbruster. "We don't hear that anymore."

Western Michigan University issues the grant money to create the sports camps for the visually impaired around the country. This is the first of it's kind in North Carolina.

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