Robins Air Force Base hosts racquetball clinic for disabled vets
WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – One non-profit is aiming to help disabled veterans learn racquetball to deal with life after the military.
The Military Racquetball Federation held a racquetball clinic at Robins Air Force Base this week. Participants had an opportunity to learn how to play.
Retired Lt. Commander Steven Harper, who hosts the clinic, says the idea came from him being on an aircraft carrier where he saw a Marine who lost a leg in combat and wanted to learn racquetball.
“He gained a lot of self confidence. He was like, man, I can do this. He was like I have more concentration now. I don’t think about the stuff that I’ve been through,” Harper said.
Minsoo Kim, a former Houston County Shark, was just looking for another activity.
His parents are contractors on base. Kim, who has cerebral palsy, says since graduating from high school opportunities for him to compete have been rare.
“It gives me something to do while I’m going to school and, you know, I really like that. So I really hope this program actually continues on.”
Participants say it’s therapeutic.
“Rolling and moving feels good here. I’ve seen it a million times and I’m a product of that as well,” Harlon Matthews said.
“We’re teaching them an adaptive way on how to transform that energy into using the racquet and the ball to release some of that,” Harper said.
While there weren’t any veterans on the courts Wednesday, Harper travels across the country teaching disabled vets about racquetball and how to play using their abilities.