Young Tornado Survivor Finds Joy Through Archery

Saturday, January 16th 2016, 6:32 pm
By: Grant Hermes

Saturdays at the H&H archery range in Oklahoma City are crowded.

Bow-men and women steady their gazes and let go, letting their arrow fly.

But in the corner, on a range of her own, 9-year-old Haleigh Legg was letting go in more ways than one.

“[Y]ou just pull back, and you aim,” Haleigh said as she lets an arrow fly, expertly sighted for the bulls eye. “...then you release.”

Haleigh and her brother Christopher both attended Plaza Towers Elementary in 2013.

Haleigh was in the first grade and her brother in third.

When the 2013 Moore tornado hit, she survived by hiding in the first grade girls bathroom. Christopher Legg was one of the seven children killed that day.

Haleigh lost hearing in one ear and only has partial use of the other as a result of the tornado. She underwent multiple surgeries to repair the physical damage. The emotional damage was a different story.

She tried to go back to normal after the tornado, but nothing felt right, until she picked up a bow and opted for extraordinary instead.

“Sometimes it's a stress reliever, sometimes it's just flat out fun,” Haleigh said as she sent another arrow toward the center of the target.

“We kind of incorporated her to kind of give her some confidence and she was an instant success,” Haleigh’s coach Sidney “Big Sid” Reed said.

By the time she turned 9 in 2015, she was one of the top archers in her age group.

Haleigh racked up an impressive collection of gold medals, plaques and honors.

Finally, she qualified for the National Field Archery Association World Cup in Las Vegas on Jan. 28 and she’s now asking for help.

The cost to compete is well over a $1,000. Someone in her local archery club started a GoFundMe page asking for $2,500 to cover the cost of entry and travel for Haleigh and her mother Danni Legg.

According to Danni Legg, any money not spent will go back to the club.

For Haleigh, her success,  she said, doesn’t happen between the arrow and the target. She pointed to a lesson learned at a young age, that any obstacle in life can be tackled between the breath and letting go.

“If I'm like kind of not liking the way my arrows are shooting i probably think of the beach and stuff and things I like,” she said as she sighted another arrow. “Your attitude affects how you shoot. Cause [sic] if your attitude is bad you're not going to care how you shoot and you always want to shoot your best.”

Click here to donate to Haleigh Legg's trip at this GoFundMe account.