Inspirational Brighouse blind woman gains an Archery GB Instructor licence

Rachel Hanks, 20, shoots and teaches at the Mixenden Activity Centre
Rachel Hanks, 20, shoots and teaches at the Mixenden Activity Centre

An inspirational blind woman from Brighouse has recently gained an Archery GB Instructor licence.

Rachel Hanks, 20, shoots and teaches at the Mixenden Activity Centre in Halifax, where she volunteers most days of the week.

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Rachel was born with cataracts and a genetic condition - a mutation of gene GJA8 – which meant that her optical nerve kept deteriorating.

She had to have one eye removed when she was 17 and her other eye failed soon after. But she is determined that it is not going to get in her way.

“Every day I find something that I can do. I intend to live my life to the full, I won’t let blindness stop me,” she said.

Rachel has completed a sports leader course at Calderdale College and is now studying an outdoor activities course.

From taekwando to water activities she is a master of sports and archery is another skill she has taken to.

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She said: “I first had a go at archery here and I wanted to learn more.

“I was volunteering at the outdoor centre and wanted to have a go at becoming an instructor, so I asked.

“I like teaching and helping people so it just seemed like a good opportunity.

“I wanted to learn a new skill – and I would love to take it further.”

After completing the instructor course, set up by Grahame Cotterill, Rachel has been given a restricted instructor’s licence by Archery GB where she has to have another instructor present.

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