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Shooting for the Stars: Urban Breaking Barriers on Carroll Rifle Team

Carroll junior Daphne Urban is making history as the rifle team's first visually impaired athlete.

Posted: Sep 11, 2019 11:34 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Daphne Urban is just like any other teenager, but in many other ways the 19-year-old junior at Carroll High School is also not.

"Daphne was adopted at age five and a half from the Phillippines," said Amy Urban, Daphne's mom.

On top of lung problems, including COPD, eosinophillic asthma and bronchitis, Urban is also visually impaired, with near total blindness in her right eye, and vision that can be corrected to 20/70 with the help of glasses in her left.

"These kiddos that start out in an orphanage are often labeled as kids from hard places," remarked Amy. So they often have challenges that are different from their peers. Daphne certainly has had many of those along the way. Lots of questions, but she has met those challenges."

And that's what makes Daphne unique, which is why no one was surprised when she fell in love with a unique sport.

"It started with the Turnsyone brochure for their sports and wellness programs," said Amy. I gave Daphne the brochure and she picked the air rifle program."

With a smile on her face, Daphne proclaims, "I love to shoot guns, like air rifle is my favorite one." 

Amy added, "she always picks things that are a little different than the norm, so that was good. The thing that interested her about the air rifle, was that she was able to do it with her visual impairment."

Daphne first began shooting just over a year ago. Except, she didn't learn to shoot with her eyes. With the help of a high tech electronic shooting trainer called SCATT, she learned to shoot with her ears.

She hears a high pitched noise in her ear, that changes tone the closer it gets to the center of the target, which signals her to shoot.

There definitely were some challenges for her when she first began. 

Coach Gregg Rice at The X-Count says she "had problems sitting still, and she had some issues with her mental focus." In true Daphne fashion, she sais she was a fast learner, so she "got it pretty quick within the next week."

However, when you look at Daphne, there's no denying what the sport has done for her.

Daphne agreed, saying "it's changed my life."

"It's been hard for Daphne to find things she can excel in, as compared to her peers," said Amy. "And this is one of those times where she is doing as well as some of her peers are doing."

Now she's ready to join her first competitive sports team, and become the first visually impaired athlete on Carroll's rifle team.

Daphne couldn't contain her excitement, saying "it's going to be really fun to be a part of air rifle Carroll Chargers and I'm very excited."

Amy added that they heard she may be able to even get a letter jacket as well.

But she doesn't want her story to end there.

Daphne wants to some day make the Olympic games. "We're proud of her," said Amy. "We're very, very proud of her. She's come a long way."

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