Bow classes aiming for superior status

By Zac Yates

The Wanganui Archery Club hosted the New Zealand Masters Games archery this weekend.

Co-ordinator and former club captain Ian Hollins said their range at Wembley Park was ideal for the sport.

"Wanganui seems to have its own microclimate which makes it perfect for sports events, but here in the park we seem to have our own microclimate-within-a-microclimate which means it's almost always great to shoot at."

The field of 13 was only down by one compared to 2011 he said, and there was a good mix of ages and skills.

"You don't have to be an athletic type to do this, we have all sorts here today.

"The big thing people think of when they think of archery is that you must have strong arms, but you don't. I've found it's more about your back. My wife and I have found over the years our T-shirts get tighter and tighter around the shoulders because of doing archery," Hollins said.

Two classes of bow were used at the event: the classic recurve bows, and the more high-tech compound bows, which are worth up to $4000.

"The compounds are quite different in that the limbs don't travel as much, and the archer doesn't have to hold as much poundage. The bow takes up to 80 per cent of the pull on the string so the archer is only holding the remaining 20 per cent.

"On a recurve bow the archer is pulling all the poundage the whole time."

Talking to Hollins it seemed there was a slight rivalry between the two classes.

"Us with our bare bows are real archers, whereas that lot are just playing with Meccano sets."

He said the sport was gaining in popularity because of films such as The Hunger Games and The Avengers featuring main characters using bows, but that it was hard to attract Masters Games hopefuls.

"I've been to competitions here and the whole line has been full of competitors, but the Masters Games just doesn't seem to have the same pull. Obviously if an archer's already entered into an event at the games it's easier for them to do this too, but it's not quite enough to draw in more serious archers.

"On the whole numbers in the sport have been on the up thanks to popular media ... "

- Wanganui Chronicle

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