For those of you that don’t know, Trinity has its very own Archery Society, conjuring up images of a Hunger Games-esque training camp. However Archery Soc doesn’t pit students against one another in life or death situations to make you quiver. With an active social side as well as coached classes and tournaments, Archery Soc are always on target.
If you have never tried archery before, or want to take up a new sport, the Society offers coached beginners classes starting each term. Dáire, the founder and coach of the society, is in charge of teaching these courses which run for six weeks. If you wish to get involved post Christmas, he advises getting in touch early as places fill up very fast. Novices will learn the two primary disciplines of archery, Barebow and Olympic Recurve. Speaking to Trinity News, Dáire explained that “upon completion of the course all intermediate archers are now welcome to pursue any discipline of archery they choose, from the traditional longbow right up to the high tech compound. All the while I’ll be on hand to offer any advice I can from basic form right up to technical equipment issues.”
As well as being welcoming to to all abilities, the society has a unique appeal due to its small size and friendly members. Choy-Ping, the Public Relations Officer of the society, advises that “because we’re a medium sized club, it’s good for people who may feel overwhelmed by the size and levels of larger clubs. Also there are a lot of people new to it, so people shouldn’t feel too daunted by having to be at a certain standard by college.” The Archers train along with the DIT society, and at the end of the year they are hoping to have their first ever “Archery Tag” competition against DIT. Dáire describes Archery Tag as “a bit of a mashup between dodgeball and paintball without the mess…It will see each of the competing teams launching foam tipped arrows at each other across an obstacle course with each hit knocking the victim out of the running.”
The society also organises many social events. Siobhán, the Ents Officer, says that the society has been conscious of creating a social atmosphere outside the training sessions. “We have been trying to organise more and more social events to get people involved outside the range. Thus far we’ve had a view movie nights, a pub crawl and equipment workshops.” Eve, the captain of the club, argues that “one of the best things about archery is how inclusive it is, and that applies both to the club and to the wider archery community.” A chance to make friends at other universities, Choy-Ping referred to the tight-knit archery community evident at competitions. “Hanging out with fellow archers, who are some of the weirdest and funniest around is always wonderful. The archery community in Ireland is pretty small too, so you’ll see the same people at competitions and it’s always nice to catch up with friends from across the country every now and then.”
If you are tempted to take up a new sport, archery could be the one for you evident in its inclusivity as well as standing out from other competitive sports in this regard. Choy-Ping explains this difference. “Archery’s a great sport because it’s all about being calm and perfecting repetition. It’s good if you’re someone like me who isn’t the best at aerobic exercise but still wants to keep fit and train with a group”. Dáire further adds to the understanding we should have of archery as a sport that’s welcoming to all. “Sex, age, disability, they all mean nothing if you have the patience and determination to master it. The famous “Armless Archer” Matt Stutzman has an accuracy I can only dream of despite his disability. Whether you’re naturally sporty or leisurely geeky, there’s a spot on the shooting line for you. And we’ll help you to score big.”
To find out more, head over to the DU Archery Facebook page and don’t forget to get in touch for a spot in the beginner course after Christmas.