Dundalk Institute of Technology played host to last weekend’s instalment of the Ireland Archery Intervarsity League. This was an historic occasion for the men and women of Dublin University Archery Club as it represented their first official outing in a collegiate event.
The club, a brainchild of science students, Dáire Healy and Oskar Ronan, was formally recognised by the Dublin University Central Athletics Club (DUCAC) in October. Upon entering college, Healy and Ronan were surprised to learn Trinity lacked an archery club. As such, they met with other enthusiasts to rectify the situation. This cohort of archers began lobbying in favour of establishing an official club in 2012. They were consistently rejected on grounds of lacking suitable facilities and insurance issues. Undeterred, the group worked tirelessly to present a functioning club with a wide membership base to DUCAC. This resulted in their receiving formal recognition this academic year. Healy cites ‘’drive and determination’’ as underpinning a successful conclusion to this process.
These qualities were in abundance on Saturday in what was a standard indoor competition. This event features archers shooting target faces of 20 to 60 centimetres from a distance of 18 meters. Each participant uses 60 arrows and shoots three at a time. Trinity’s recurve team was comprised of founders Healy and Ronan alongside Christo Pretorious, Choy-Ping Clark-Ng and Eve Kearney. Members of the club involved in the barebow event were Siobhan Flynn and Max Fursman. Others who participated from the college were Cormac Begley, Bronwyn Berkley and Jack Buttery.
Many of those competing have recently took up the sport. This contingent has availed of the beginners’ course offered from 7 to 8 pm on Mondays in Greenside House on Cuffe Street. In the cosy confines of this community centre more experienced club members teach the ropes of the 2 most popular archery styles, barebow and Olympic recurve. It must be stressed, however, that the club welcomes all codes within the sport including the traditional and compound techniques. These Monday sessions are preoccupied with mastering the mechanics of wielding a bow and arrow whereas training nights held in Belvedere College focus on accuracy. The facilities in the latter allow for a full indoor distance of 18 meters and are shared by athletes from Dublin Institute of Technology. This makes for a comfortable and social location to hone your skills.
The hours spent in preparation were manifest in some fine performances from Trinity’s archers. The recurve team, buoyed by years of experience, produced some excellent scores. Those competing in the barebow event similarly acquitted themselves extremely well. Overall, Saturday proved a very informative introduction to competition for DU Archery Club. Those who participated eagerly await their next intervarsity event in Dublin City University in February.
Aside from its competitive commitments, DU Archery Club is keen to emphasise its social aspects. Given that the bow is the weapon of choice for many of the film’s protagonists, the club hopes to host a Hunger Games movie night. A number of trips away are also planned. One such excursion will sample the most recent incarnation of the sport, Archery Tag. This combination of a lively social scene, intervarsity success, a new and expanding group of members and official recognition mark DU Archery Club out as an exciting strand to Trinity sport.