Without a club or Virginia High School League (VHSL) team at CHS for archery, student archers have found other ways to get involved in the sport.
Senior Molly Shear joined a private club based in Chantilly called Win and Archery. She is involved in an environment where students commit lots of time to training. Over the course of three years, Win and Archery won more than 75 medals and broke multiple records at the local, state and national level.
“I started archery all the way back in eighth grade, which has helped me through high school,” junior Aillene Pak said.
Starting early has helped students like Pak get a start on the sport and get used to shooting before they actually compete in major competitions.
Students at CHS got involved in the sport beginning in high school, many students that do archery got into the sport before starting high school.
Archery requires specific equipment to maintain athletes’ safety. Archery basics include a sling, arrows, armguards, bows, first aid kits, and quivers to hold bows.
“In archery, I shoot with an Olympic recurve bow. I also need some basic safety equipment in case something goes wrong. All of these components help make sure I can perform to my best ability.” Shear said.
The recurve bow that Shear uses is the only type of bow allowed for Olympic competition. Archers that use the recurve bow pull the string tight and release to hit the target which they have spotted through the sight in the bow.
During the year, Shear practices for two hours, five days a week. During practice she goes to the range and shoots about 200 arrows. Sometimes, she will shoot and score herself.
“It is really hard to manage your time when you do competitive archery,” Shear said. “I want to practice everyday for hours, so I have to accept that I won’t be at the Olympic level if I want to do anything other than archery.”
Win and Archery strives for teaching students important skills such as time management and commitment. In past years these students have competed with Win and Archery in local competitions through USA Archery. This year Win and Archery has not scheduled any competitions so far.
Local clubs and teams like Win and Archery will register to compete in local and national archery competitions through USA Archery.
“I like the individualistic aspect of archery,” junior Eunice Choi said. “The sport depends solely on how much practice and effort you put into it. Archery has benefited me in that I learned to manage my time wisely starting from when I was young due to [balancing] both school and archery. If you do bad at a competition, you truly only have yourself to blame.”