Athlete of the Week: Kyle Simmons
MAQUOKETA, Iowa (KCRG) - Kyle Simmons of Maquoketa is legally blind, but it didn’t stop him from joining the cross-country team.
“It is one of the few sports I can actually do because of my condition,” said Kyle.
The school placed an ad for a job to find someone to run with Kyle in practice and in meets. But nobody answered that ad. So Maquoketa School superintendent Tara Notz took it upon herself to handle the job.
“I want all of our students to have every opportunity. Kyle if that’s what he wants to do then we need to as a district make that happen for him. It really is the best part of my day, I get that physical activity in but also The interaction with the kids,”
But imagine running a cross-country race without being able to see all the turns and hills. That is where Tera comes in - running right ahead of Kyle and guiding him verbally.
Kyle and Tera have it down to a science, even coming up with a code word they want to pass other runners.
“When we would go to pass people without the code word Tara would say we are passing someone and then they would know, so they would speed up. We developed a code word for that,” said Kyle.
Kyle also enjoys being a part of something bigger than himself and he loves his teammates.
“I really think that he is an inspiration to all the runners to show no matter what your abilities or challenges are, we all have those. There’s always someone who may have a greater challenge and Can persist and set a goal,” said Jacob Nabb, Kyle’s teammate.
Simmons has improved some much over the last four years, When he first started he only did a portion of the races and he now finishes 5k’s with new pr’s.
Running has been a gift to both and has done so much for Kyle’s confidence.
“I’m glad I started, otherwise I would just stay at home because I can’t play ball sports because of my condition., just knowing that I can do this, I can do a bunch of other stuff.”
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