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CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Devin Timson is an archer to watch, living proof that archery is as much about the journey as it is about the medal wins.
Winning the champion title in the recurve cub division at last summer's Ohio State Outdoor JOAD Championship, the 2014 Ohio State Outdoor FITA Championship, and being named the 2014 Ohio Shooter of the Year, Timson also placed 9th in the 2015 Vegas Shoot. Anyone who has seen Devin "Flying Fish" Timson on the field knows he is a passionate athlete, a strong shooter, and a confident young man.
But Devin's story goes beyond a growing trophy shelf. When he was six years old, Devin was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. He tried many sports while growing up, including baseball, football and basketball, but none of them stuck; he struggled with self-confidence. Everything changed when he first picked up a bow in cub scouts. Devin explained: "When I shoot, it's a great stress relief. I can block everyday issues out and focus on the one goal of hitting the X."
Devin's confidence grew as he continued in archery: "It teaches me discipline and focus that I can use in everyday life. When I first started archery, I was kind of shy and kept to myself. Archery has brought me out of my shell, and I look forward to meeting new people now." Devin now shoots at Desert Sky Archers in Arizona, under the guidance of Paul Miller, who has coached at several Paralympic Games.
Devin has overcome a lot of personal setbacks to reach his level of success today; whereas it took a lot for him to try out among 88 archers for 8 slots on a competitive Junior Olympic Archery Development team in Cincinnati, he recently had no fear about shooting with thousands of archers at the Vegas Shoot. Devin says, "I love shooting, but I also enjoy meeting new friends, the personal challenge of getting better. I have met people from all over the globe and I think that is pretty cool."
Parents Brian and Vicky take pride in Devin's accomplishments, both on and off the field. Dad Brian explains: "I enjoy watching Devin shoot and his interaction with the other kids. He has come such a long way from where we started. I love watching him do something he is so passionate about."
Vicky agreed. "One of my favorite things to see at a tournament Devin's excitement when he shoots an X," she says. "His smile just melts me. I love seeing him interacting with others who have the same passion that he does, or when a younger archer needs help and Devin is the first to help them. I love the confidence that I see in him at tournaments.
"I enjoy being a part of his experience. I love that we see people at different tournaments from different parts of the world and what a family feel there is in the archery world. I have been to plenty of tournaments, and there is not one time I didn't feel welcome. I am proud that my son is a part of such upstanding people and a great organization."
Archery is all about inclusion; it is a sport that everyone can enjoy. For more information on how you can get involved in archery, click here to find a local club. You can also follow Devin and his archery progress on his fan page.
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