Wallingford’s CT Archery gives disabled athletes an outlet

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–Whether you’re standing or sitting in a wheelchair, the goal is the same. Hit that target.

Hiram Gonzalez seems to be getting the hang of it. He was injured back in 2004, while cutting some tree limbs in his backyard. Prior to his accident, he loved playing sports.
“Playing volleyball, softball, soccer and golf, and that was a way to blow off steam. I don’t have those avenues anymore like I used to, so this is a good way to compensate for that,” he said.

Gonzalez always wanted to try archery, so when this beginner’s class started a couple of weeks ago, he took a chance and decided to give it a try despite some apprehension at first.

“You think of how you used to be, and I was more than able, and now I’m in [a wheelchair], so I’m thinking, how am I going to be able to do this? How am I going to get around this?” he said.
Joining Gonzalez is 22-year-old Austin Wheaton. The Milford native has tried a bunch of sports through Gaylord. He says archery is pretty tough.

“Just making sure everything is in line, your backhand, your fronthand, making sure the bow is straight,” he said.

Debbie Gibilaro has been involved in archery for years.

“I just like doing archery. I’ve been involved in archery for years, I’m a level 4 U.S. archery coach,” she said. “I started with the clinics three years ago at Gaylord, and it’s just blossomed from there.”

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