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Evan Peters, 10, of Lawrenceburg learns to play with less at NubAbility camp
A 10-year-old Lawrenceburg boy spent his weekend building confidence, improving sports skills and learning to play with less and win.
Evan Peters was one of more than 70 children from 24 states participating in the third annual NubAbility Athletics Foundation All-Sport Summer Camp in southern Illinois. Participants in the camp, all children between the ages of 4 and 17 who are missing limbs, worked with a team of more than 30 limb-different coaches to learn new skills and develop a winning mentality.
“Our coaches are all individuals who have succeeded at the high school, collegiate or advanced levels of their sport,” said Sam Kuhnert, NubAbility founder and baseball pitcher for Morthland College in West Frankfort, Illinois. “All of us know how it feels to have someone judge or doubt you because of a limb-difference, but we also know how it feels to prove the skeptics wrong. We want to help instill that same feeling in another generation of athletes.”
Campers were able to participate in a variety of sports, including baseball, basketball, cheer, dance, football, soccer, softball, track and field, tumbling, volleyball and wrestling. Younger campers focused their time on learning the basic skills of their respective sports, while older campers ran college-camp drills and experienced strength and conditioning and weight training.
Coaches at this year’s camp included football coach and Maxwell Award winner Eddie Delaney; tumbling, dance and cheer coach and 2013 Miss Iowa Nicole Kelly; soccer coach and starting goalie of the 2014 U.S. Amputee World Cup team Eric Westover; and wrestling coach and former WWE superstar Zach Gowen, among numerous others.
“The best part of the weekend was seeing the kids leave camp with their heads held high and a smile on their face,” Kuhnert said. “Even if these kids don’t go on to play sports in high school or college, they leave here instilled with confidence to succeed in whatever they choose. You never know; one of these kids might be the one to cure cancer. We’re just trying to encourage them to follow their dreams.”
NubAbility Athletics Foundation was formed in 2012. The inaugural camp, which took place in Greenville, Illinois, had 19 campers and nine coaches. While the All-Sport Summer Camp is a major focus, the organization also hosts sports clinics throughout the year and provides support and resources for limb-different children and their parents.
For more information about NubAbility Athletics Foundation and its All-Sport Summer Camp, visit nubability.org, facebook.com/nubability or twitter.com/nubability.