LARGO, Fla. -- There is an archery club in Largo that’s focused on more than just hitting the target. They are instilling confidence into children and teens that they can take with them.
“I used to be really shy around people,” said 17-year-old Dominic Fabrizio.
He said public speaking used to scare him, then he started firing a bow and arrow with the Pinellas County 4-H.
“It’s really helped me with my communication and my speech,” said Fabrizio.
He said learning how to repeatedly hit the target was a springboard, he began helping others, and without even realizing it he became a leader.
“Confidence that I had in the club just increased and increased as we went, it really is an amazing experience, it really helped me,” said Fabrizio.
Every class, instructor Laurie Reed has the students work on different goals. Some are very fundamental like their stance, while others are life skilled based, like giving a group demonstration.
“We’ve had kids that gave the speech under a table when they first started and now they can confidently get up in front of the group and give an amazing speech,” said Reed.
Reed said unlike a lot of team sports, each student has the luxury of going at their own pace.
“It allows a lot of kids that have ADHD or Autism to come out and they can feel confident to compete with the others because it’s more of an individual focus,” said Reed. “They are not trying to match the goals of the person next to them and they are growing with their own rate and their own abilities.”
However, if you ask these little Robin Hoods the best part about archery, the answer is always the same.
“I like getting bullseyes,” said 9-year-old Charlotte Torres.
“Even the first time hitting the target is spectacular, seeing the light in their eyes, when they are like ‘wow, I actually did that, that’s pretty cool,’” said Reed.