Club archery launches itself onto national scene – The GW Hatchet

Club archery went to the 53rd Indoor National Archery Tournament last weekend.

After GW’s club archery team was founded by senior Tony Moon in February 2020, just a year after creating it as a student organization in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed everyone to go back home in spring 2020. As a result, Moon had to compete by himself until they were allowed back on campus.

Moon said he used the time to be productive, holding meetings over Zoom to set up the board structure and find a closer practice space from campus that’s now only a 20-to-30 minute drive as opposed to an hour away.

Now, the team has had the chance to compete in two tournaments over the course of this year, with the first one being in Lancaster, Pennsylvania during Halloween weekend and the second one being Nationals held in Harrisonburg, Virginia by James Madison University, fielding a total of six competitive archers.

Moon said he first became interested in archery during the 2008 Summer Olympics before he moved from South Korea to the United States in 2010. He said he started doing sports in high school after his mother put him in a competitive program with a coach from the US National Team.

Before he started archery, he played a variety of sports, including soccer, basketball, golf and water polo. He said he fell in love with the community surrounding archery and the truthfulness of the sport.

“Archery is a very truthful sport, to say, because whatever you do on the shooting line will appear on the target,” he said.

He said the sport is about focus and preparation and getting oneself into a groove when stepping up to the line.

“I’m a type of person who gets really nervous at the beginning,” Moon said. “So I would sometimes make mistakes. But then when I’m really, really in the zone, then even before firing the arrow, I would know that this shot is going to be 10. ”

Moon placed second in his local division at the competition and finished 52nd overall out of 155 archers in the recurve senior men and 25th out of 93 archers in the recurve collegiate men. In his last competition for GW, he placed 14th out of 115 participants at the Indoor Nationals in 2020 in the recurve collegiate men.

“To honestly say about the recent tournament, I didn’t do well,” Moon said. “But then that didn’t really matter to me. There was a team behind me. And the fact that I was able to bring my team to national competition and then make them experience high-level archery and then look how far it came from just one person to a whole organized club, it was a very rewarding moment for me. ”

Sophomore Sydney Kang is the current coach of the club archery team after serving as president during the first semester. She placed 45th out of 90 archers in the recurve collegiate women division and 79th out of 131 archers in the junior women division.

Kang said she had also tried many sports before archery, but she said she couldn’t find the right fit.

“I was really bad at all of it,” Kang said. “And I hated running, I hated team sports. I didn’t like it when people touched me in sports. So they were like, ‘What can we put her in?’ And they were like, ‘Let’s just throw in archery and see if she likes it.’ And it ended up working out very well for me. ”

From there, Kang said she competed with the US Olympic development teams. Kang said she enjoys collegiate competition more though because it’s more relaxed and about having fun than it was in high school.

She said she considers herself a “retired” archer now that she isn’t as competitive. She said she enjoys coaching even more than shooting at this point, spending much of her time helping the members on her team as well as teaching beginner classes and private lessons at the Nova Fencing and Archery Club where she works.

Kang has not only seen the archers she teaches grow but the club team grow in size as well.

“I think on Engage we have like 150 people,” Kang said. “We have like 30 or so who come to practice every week. And then out of those we have, like 10 or so who are actually very interested in competing, and we’re trying to get more people into it. So that’s our biggest thing, generating our interest for them. ”

The team had plans to try to add a practice facility on the Virginia Science and Technology Campus sometime during the fall 2020 semester, but those plans fell through after the pandemic broke out. Currently, Kang said the team practices at the same facility both Moon and Kang work at, but they are still looking to get a practice space on campus.

Emily Reid is a sophomore serving as the new president of the club after joining the team as a recreational archer just this year. She placed 76th in the recurve collegiate women division and 122nd in the junior women division in her first competition with a recurve bow.

She said the most rewarding part of the sport is being able to see the direct results of her individual effort, patience and growth on the target.

“With archery, it’s only you – you’re the only one doing it,” Reid said. “You can’t rely on someone else next to you to be able to get the dig, you can’t. It has to be all on your efforts. ”

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