Robins Air Force Base hosts racquetball clinic for disabled vets

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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.

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 311 Skyler joined the 41 NBC News Team in April 2013. He anchors the news at 6 p.m. and also covers stories going on throughout the day. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb right outside of Atlanta. Before heading to Middle Georgia, Skyler worked as a stage manager for WSB- TV in Atlanta. Skyler graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Multimedia Communication. He went to school initially to be an architect, but one step inside of the student radio station changed everything. While at Georgia Southern, he was exposed to radio and television and became the Program Director of the student radio station and was a part of a team that received a Southeast Regional student Emmy for their work on the program "Inside Georgia Southern Football." Skyler anchored and reported for Georgia Southern University's "Eagle News." There he covered the 2010 midterm elections live as well as reported on stories in the community. In the Spring 2012, Skyler interned for Clear Channel in Los Angeles, California. Skyler is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. In his free time, you can find Skyler watching the latest movies and reading up on all things in Hollywood. He also loves spending time with his family and friends and finding inspirational quotes. He loves telling stories about politics, tax dollars at work in the community, and highlighting people and business who don’t normally get the spotlight. If you have any story ideas, email Skyler at shenry@41nbc.com.