Blind Archery
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Blind Archery

August 16, 2019

My name is Karsten Otto and I am an archer with a severe visual impairment. Due to a car accident, for 20 years now I am seeing only 2,5%. And two years ago I started with archery. I think, two years ago we were mostly motivated by my fully visually impaired friend Thomas, me and Alexander Thriller, our coach me and Alexander Thriller, our coach that in Germany at that time archery for visually impaired was underdeveloped. And we started basically from scratch, practically filling the niche. We worked on the technique by ourselves in cooperation between the coach and athletes figuring out the specific needs of visually impaired in archery: what needs to be done differently in technique, what aids are needed, if they exist. And we didn’t find anything in Germany, so we started looking over the internet and found a movement in England that for decades does archery with visually impaired people. We got inspiration from them and made our own invention. Archery for visually impaired is different Archery for visually impaired is different because we don’t have a visual connection with the target. We use the tripod that only tells us, how we are standing. Meaning, if we have a right stand. Challenge is to repeat the same series of movements again and again with the same precision with your whole body. It starts from the feet through the knees hips, stomach, chest, arms and all of it in motion if possible with precision and indentically every time to hit the same spot on a target. This is the biggest challenge. This is our version of a tripod for archery for visually impaired people. for archery for visually impaired people. It can be explained pretty easily: there is a tire at the bottom that using restriction shows where you need to stand. Leg position, step width, system of directing towards a target. In front, as we see is a basic tripod for photo or video. On it there is a tire system that can be moved vertically and horizontally as a usual aim. On top is a transverse shutter that in front has a string rod with a rounded end. As a result that is the point that allows me to properly position my arm towards a target. Difficulty is in motion identically every time to position your body towards the tripod. And always make the whole motion identically, Because, as we can see between my hand and my leg there is my whole body. It can turn, swing forward or backward. You can make a mistake in motion, You can make a mistake in motion, your shoulder can be to high or too low. There is a thousand small things that you have to keep track of to again and again in the same position redo the shot. And only then you will be able to possibly send the arrows to the same place I am doing sports with people with impairments because in my own family there was a shocking situation and I learnt a lot from it. That people can do more. I want to give them new motivation, courage and, of course, bring back good life Archery develops all the body parts, joints, muscles strengthens the back, shoulders, legs, buttocks, neck, everything.. Everything, that may in the daily life bring pain. All of it can be eliminated through archery. And, of course, it is a great fun to experience how an arrow on a such a big distance hits the target. Development over the last two years happened very fast. After that we received a lot of praise and support and we are on the right track. We want and hope to show the world that this sport is really good and useful for visually impaired as well. As this mental challenge and a physical challenge helps everyone.

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