With downs syndrome and vision impairment, 25-year-old Kyle Loucks isn’t someone most would expect to see on a golf course. That hasn’t stopped her though. On Monday, Kyle joined other students from Envision, a Wichita organization that promotes advocacy and independence for blind and low vision individuals, in the culmination of four weeks worth of training to take part in a golf tournament in Wichita.
A volunteer in kindergarten classes, Meals on Wheels and the YMCA, Kyle was happy to be part of a tournament for an organization that has meant so much to her and her family.
“It makes me happy and proud,” she said.
This was the fifth consecutive year of the program sponsored by Envision. Students ranging from elementary-age to seniors were provided with free instruction and use of equipment as they were each paired one-on-one with mentors.
“Playing golf is something many individuals who are blind or visually impaired have never experienced, and the clinic is just one way Envision helps facilitate independence and demonstrates that with dedication and the right tools, anything is possible,” a press release said.
Golf is nothing new for Kyle though, her mother Kerri said. She’s been going out on courses with her parents since she was old enough to sit up in a golf cart and has been playing actively for the last six or seven years.
“Wednesday night, that’s family night, we head to the golf course and we all play golf. It’s been good, it’s really been good for Kyle,” she said.
Kerri, her husband Marv and Kyle all participate in golf for the Special Olympics too, Kerri said, but since practicing with an instructor at Envision Kyle’s game has gotten better.
“Being out here with people that really know the game and teach them how to hit right, it’s really improved her game,” Kerri said.
The tournament was just one of several meaningful events Kyle and her family have taken part in with Envision, her favorite of which is Heather’s camp, a summer camp for their students.
“That has meant the world to her,” Kerri said.
Regardless of how well she played at the tournament, Kyle was most interest in having a good time with her friends.
“I just feel like having this opportunity to be involved in Envision is fun,” she said.