Traditionally a hunting sport, archery is truly an art and I have always felt that it must be very gratifying to hold a bow, focus on a target and let an arrow fly. Archery was never your very “regular” sport. The objective of an archer is to shoot an arrow at a target using a bow. The target might be a stationary target that is made up of concentric circles or animal shaped targets. If the archer is hunting wild game, the target could be an animal that is moving. Well personally, the first and last time I was compelled to hold a bow in my hand was during a play of mine entitled “The Royal Sun”.
However, good news is – Archery has indeed seen an increase in participation recently, especially among young girls. All thanks to the Susanne Collins book series and movie “The Hunger Games”! In Bollywood, actress Jacqueline Fernandez was seen practising archery in the movie “Race 2”.
Hanim Nazirah, 15, Singaporean, has won three medals at the Sembawang YEC Archery Open this year. She was also awarded a Division A recurve bronze at the Singapore Indoor Archery Youth Cup last year in December. “It (Archery) gives you motivation through confidence and makes you more focused not only in studying, but in other aspects of life as well,” said Nazirah. Granted that there is nothing better than doing something that elevates your confidence level and leaves a sense of empowerment that comes along with it. However, there is also a need to develop the skills and strength of young talents.
While taking the basic and intermediate archery courses in December 2011, Hanim Nazirah slowly discovered her love for the sport. She officially joined Archery Alliance on Jan. 1 2012. Nazirah trains up to three times a week, if not more, depending on her schedule. She can be found at the range twice on weekdays after school and on every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
While Hanim Nazirah is aiming for the SEA Games in 2015, Korean-origin Indian archery coach Lim Chae Woong said his focus is to identify young talents and nurture them in the next four years for the 2016 Olympic Games.
“It is necessary to identify young talents as some of the archers in the current batch are growing old. The performance of the Indian women recurve team would be hit if they failed to maintain form during the next four years,” insisted Lim. He also expressed confidence that India would perform well in the World Cup stage I and II beginning next month.
Well, this is certainly exciting as I am going to be trying my hand at Archery next week. This time round, not for play but to really learn the art behind the sport. Simply can’t wait, at all. Wish me luck ! Xoxo
Did You Know?
Archery was part of the Olympics from 1900 to 1920. The kind of competitive archery that was held at the Olympics depended on what country was hosting the Olympic games. The Americans and the British favored target archery while the Europeans favored archery competition that was associated with hunting. It was after 1920 when the International Olympic Committee took control of medal sports that archery was dropped from Olympic competition. It was not until 1972 the target archery was restored as an Olympic sport.